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HX   39  I?   189fc 

MNIVIRSIIV    OK    CALirORNIA     SAN   DICCO 


Imwwi— *i— — w  iiiiiiiii 


3   1822  01053  4055 


Socialism  of  To  -  day 


EMILE  DE   LAVELEYE 


WITH  AN  ACCOUNT  OF 

SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND 


GODDARD  a  ORPEN 


^ 


NIVCRSI'V    or    tAlirORNIA     SAN    DIM 


3   1822  01053  4055'  JL 


tJ^  53^ 


■\  'f 


THE 


Socialism  of  To-day. 


EMILEaDE  laveleye, 

MEMBER   OF   THE   ROYAL   ACADEMY   OF    BELGILM,    ETC.,    ETC, 


Translated  into  English  by 

GODDARD    H.    ORPEN, 

BARRI.STER-AT-LAW. 


TOGETHER  WITH  AN  ACCOUNT  OF 

SOCIALISM    IN    ENGLAND 

BY   THE   TRANSLATOR. 


Hontfon : 

FIELD  AND  TUER,  THE  LEADENHALL  PRESS,  E.G. 

SIMPKIN,  MARSHALL  &  CO. ;  HAMILTON,  ADAMS  &  CO. 

1686. 


FIELD    &   TUER, 

THE   LEADENHALL   PRESS,    E.  C. 

(T.    4183) 


CONTENTS. 


Translator's   Preface  (ix.) 


INTRODUCTION. 

THE   PROGRESS  OF  SOCIALISM, 

Ubiquity  of  Socialism  (xiii.) — What  is  Socialism?  (xiv.)— Causes  of  the 
origin  and  growth  of  Socialism  (xv.) — Christianity  and  Socialism  (xvi.) 
— Socialistic  utterances  of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  (xviii.) — Darwin- 
ism the  logical  antithesis  of  both  Christianity  and  Socialism  (xix.) — 
How  religious  Socialism  became  political  (xx.) — The  French  Revolution 
and  social  equality  (xxi.) — Changes  in  the  methods  of  production  (xxii.) 
— Mediceval  craftsmen  and  modern  factory-hands  (xxv.) — Mediaeval 
society  stationary  but  stable  (xxvii.) — Competition  the  cause  at  once  of 
progress  and  instability  (xxviii.) — "  The  iron  law  of  wages"  (xxix. ) — 
Internationalism  (xxx.) — Summary  of  the  situation  created  by  economic 
progress  (xxxi. ) — Macaulay's  prophecy  (xxxii.) — Effect  of  the  decay  of 
religious  faith  (xxxiii. ) — Political  Economy,  the  arsenal  of  Socialism 
(xxxiv. ) — Socialism  gaining  ground  with  the  upper  classes  (xxxv.) — and 
promoted  by  Militarism  (xxxvi. ) — The  true  and  the  false  in  Socialism 
(xxxvii.) — The  demands  of  Socialism  (xxxix.) — Effect  of  Socialism  on 
Political  Economy  (xlii. ) — Fundamental  errors  of  Socialists  (xliii. ) 


CHAPTER   I. 

CONTEMPORARY  SOCIALISM   IN   GERMANY. 

Coercive  measures  against  Socialists  (i) — Two  Socialistic  Associations 
formed  in  Germany  (2) — The  Congress  of  Gotha,  1872,  and  its  pro- 
gramme (3) — Wide  diffusion  of  Socialism  in  Germany  (4). 


iv  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  II. 

THE   FORERUNNERS  :    FICHTE   AND   MARLO. 

Recent  origin  of  Socialism  in  Germany  (6) — Socialistic  views  of  Fichte  (7) 
— The  writings  of  Weitling  (8) — Professor  Winkelblech  (Mario) :  his 
conversion  to  Socialism  (9) — His  contrast  of  the  Pagan  and  the  Chris- 
tian principle  in  Political  Economy  (11) — His  theory  of  property  (ii) 
— His  views  on  the  population  question  (12) — Diffusion  of  comfort  the 
best  preventive  of  over-population  (13). 

CHAPTER   III. 

RODBERTUS-JAGETZOW. 

General  character  of  German  Socialists  (14) — Rodbertus,  "  the  Ricardo  of 
Socialism"  (15) — His  theory  of  wages  (16) — and  of  rent  {17) — His 
project  of  a  system  of  exchange  (18). 

CHAPTER   IV. 

KARL   MARX. 

Das  Kapital:  its  faulty  method  (20) — Biographical  facts  concerning 
Marx  (21) — His  writings  (22) — His  aim,  to  prove  capital  the  result 
of  spoliation  (23) — His  theory  of  value  (24) — The  measure  of  value 
{26) — His  account  of  the  origin  of  capital  (27) — The  capitalist's 
methods  of  increasing  profits  (30) — "  Surplus  Value,"  the  materializa- 
tion of  unpaid  labour  (31) — Maurice  Block's  attempted  refutation  (32) 
— Fundamental  error  of  Marx  (34) — Value  really  springs  from  Utility 
(35) — True  theory  of  the  value  of  labour  (37) — Error  of  Marx  as 
to  machines  (38) — German  and  French  Socialists  contrasted  (39)— 
Superiority  of  Christianity  as  a  factor  of  social  reform  (40). 

CHAPTER  V. 

FERDINAND   LASSALLE. 

Lassalle,  the  "  Messiah  of  Socialism"  (42) — His  early  years  (43)— Heine's 
estimate  of  Lassalle  (44) — The  Countess  of  Hatzfeld's  law-suit  (45) — • 
The  insurrection  at  Dusseldorf,  1848  (46) — Lassalle's  political  views 
(47) — His  juridical  and  political  writings  (48) — Lassalle  and  Schulze- 
Delitzsch  (49) — Lassalle's  project  of  marriage  (51) — His  tragic  death 
(53) — His  theories  :  the  "  iron  law  of  wages  "  (54) — How  far  true  (57) 
— Economic  laws  differ  from  cosmic  laws  (59) — Is  it  want  or  plenty 
that  tends  to  increase  population  ?  (60) — Lassalle's  views  regarding 
the  antagonism  between  capitalists  and  labourers  (62) — His  remedy : 
State-aided   co-operation   (64) — Bismarck's    connection  with   Lassalle 


CONTENTS.  V 

(67) — Difficulties  in  the  way  of  co-operative  production  (68) — Work- 
ing men's  Congress  in  Paris,  1876,  and  co-operation  (71)  Conditions 
of  successful  co-operation  (74) — Lassalle's  views  as  to  the  ulterior 
transformation  of  society  {75)— Lassalle  and  Marx  contrasted  {78)— 
Essential  weakness  of  Lassalle's  proposals  (79). 

CHAPTER  VI. 

CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS. 

Einseitigkeit  (81) — The  Conservative  Socialist,  the  Economist,  and  the 
Democratic  Socialist  (82) — Germany  the  typical  ground  of  the  war 
between  classes  (83) — Rodbertus  contrasted  with  Lassalle  (84) — Pre- 
sident von  Gerlach  and  the  Zunftreaction  (85) — Professor  Huber  and 
Councillor  Wagener  (87) — Prince  Bismarck  a  type  of  the  Conservative 
Socialist  (89) — His  relations  with  the  Katheder-Socialisten  (91) — Views 
of  Rudolf  Meyer,  the  most  learned  of  Conservative  Socialists  (93) — 
Aristotle  and  Montesquieu  on  the  evils  of  inequality  (94) — For  whom 
does  machinery  create  leisure?  (95) — Impracticable  proposals  of  Con- 
servative Socialists  (96). 

CHAPTER   VII. 

EVANGELICAL   SOCIALISTS. 

Herr  Stocker  and  the  two  associations  founded  by  him  (97) — Programme 
of  the  party  (99) — A  Socialist  Monarchy  (loi) — Prussia,  a  soil  suited 
to  State  Socialism  (103) — Proposed  revival  of  trade-corporations  (104) 
— Herr  Stocker's  views  as  to  the  duty  of  the  Protestant  Church  (106) 
— ^Johann  Most's  attacks  on  the  clergy  (107) — Massenaustritt  aus  der 
Landskirche  (108) — The  Evangelical  Socialists  and  the  Anti-Socialist 
Bill  (109) — PI  err  Todt's  book:  "Radical  German  Socialism  and 
Christian  Society"  (no) — M.  Laurent  and  school-saving  (113) — 
Christianity,  a  living  force  (115). 

CHAPTER  VIII. 

CATHOLIC   SOCIALISTS. 

The  Red  and  the  Black  International  (116) — Militant  Catholics  in  France 
(117) — Is  the  Gospel  an  authority  for  Socialism?  (118) — Scientific 
Materialism  and  Christianity  (120) — Bishop  Ketteler's  Book  :  "  The 
Labour  Question  and  Christianity"  (121) — His  sympathy  with  Lassalle 
(122) — The  theory  of  the  "  Labour-Commodity  "  (123) — Why  dema- 
gogues preach  Atheistic  Materialism  (125) — Bishop  Ketteler's  remedy 
(126) — Canon  Moufang's  electoral  address,  1871 ;  programme  of  Catho- 
lico-Socialist  reforms  (129) — Die  Christlich-sociale  Blaetter  (132) — In- 


vi  CONTENTS. 

fluence  of  the  Ultramontane  Socialists  (133) — The  Catholic  working 
men's  clubs  (134) — Kolping's  Vcreine  (137) — Assembly  of  German 
Catholics  at  Mayence,  1871  (139) — Relations  of  the  Catholic  Socialists 
with  the  Social  Democrats  (140) — Associations  due  to  Catholic  Socialism 
(141) — Double  object  of  the  movement  (143) — The  scarlet-coloured 
beast  of  the  Apocalypse  (144). 


CHAPTER   IX. 

THE   RISE  AND   FALL  OF   THE   INTERNATIONAL. 

Facts  which  gave  rise  to  the  International  (146)— Communist  Manifesto  of 
1847  (148) — Visit  of  French  working  men  to  the  London  Exhibition 
of  1862  (149) — Foundation  of  the  International,  1864  (150) — Its 
Manifesto  (151) — First  Congress  at  Geneva,  1866(153) — Constitution 
of  the  International  (154)— The  International  begins  to  make  its  power 
felt  (155) — Congress  at  Lausanne,  1867  (156) — Congress  at  Brussels, 
1868  (158)— Collectivism  {161)— What  is  the  Collectivity  ?  (164)— The 
Slavic  zadniga  (165) — How  the  International  gained  adherents  (166) 
— Congress  at  Bale,  1869  (168) — Autonomous  Co-operative  Associations 
(170) — Abolition  of  hereditary  succession  (171) — Bakunin  appears  on 
the  scene  (172) — Spread  of  the  International  in  1870  (173) — Protests 
against  the  Franco-Prussian  war  (174) — The  International  and  the 
Paris  Commune  (176) — Conference  in  London,  1871  (179) — The  schism 
in  the  International  and  the  Congress  at  the  Hague,  1872  (180) — Two 
Internationals  face  to  face,  1873  (182) — General  Assembly  of  the 
Autonomists  at  Brussels,  1874  (184) — Congress  at  Berne,  1876  (185) — 
Congress  at  Ghent,  1877  (187) — Causes  of  the  decline  of  the  Inter- 
national (189). 

CHAPTER  X. 

BAKUNIN   THE  APOSTLE  OF   NIHILISM. 

Amorphism  (192) — Cosmical  and  social  Palingenesis  (193) — Biographical 
sketch  of  Bakunin  (196) — Foundation  of  "  the  Alliance  of  the  Socialist 
Democracy"  (198)— Bakunin  and  the  Commune  (199) — Constitution 
of  the  Alliance  (200) — Its  programme  (201) — "  Holy  and  wholesome 
ignorance"  (203)  —  "Pan-destruction"  (204) — The  Revolutionary 
Catechism  (205) — Netchaieff  (206) — The  assassination  of  Ivanofif  (207) 
— Romanoff,  Pugatcheff,  or  Pestel?  (208) — Influence  of  the  International 
in  England  (209) — in  America  (212) — in  the  Scandinavian  countries 
(213) — in  Switzerland  (216) — in  Belgium  (218) — in  Holland  (220) — in 
Austria  (220) — in  Hungary  (221) — in  Italy  (221) — "The  Social  Revo- 
lution "  at  San  Lupo  (222) — Lady  Internationalists  (224) — Mazzini  and 


CONTENTS.  VU 

the  International  (225) — Garibaldi  and  the  Commune :  Bakunin  and 
Italy  (226) — The  Socialistic  press  in  Italy  (228) — Socialistic  manifestoes 
(229) — Authoritarian  Collectivists  and  Revolutionary  Anarchists  (230) 
— The  International  in  Spain  (231) — Influence  of  Bakunin  in  Spain 
(233) — The  Insurrection  of  Carthagena,  1873  (235) — La  Mano  Nera 
(236) — The  International  in  Portugal  (239) — Force  no  remedy  (240) 
— The  sources  of  Nihilistic  Socialism:  the  Hegelians  (241) — Herzen 
(242) — Russian  Nihilism  distinguished  from  Western  Anarchism  (243). 


CHAPTER  XL 

COLLECTIVISM   AND   LAND   NATIONALIZATION. 

Different  forms  of  Collectivism  (244) — Colins,  the  Belgian  CoUectivist : 
sketch  of  his  life  {245) — His  philosophical  (246) — economical  {247) 
and  historical  views  (249) — His  idea  of  the  definitive  organization  of 
society  (250) — Fran9ois  Huet  (253) — His  views  of  social  organiza- 
tion :  "the  right  to  patrimony"  (254) — Henry  George:  his  "Pro- 
gress and  Poverty  "  (226) — Universal  Collectivism:  Schaeffle's  "Quint- 
essence of  Socialism  "  {260) — Three  Socialist  groups  in  France  (263) 
— The  programme  of  the  Possibilists  (264). 

CHAPTER  XII. 

THE   SOCIALISTS   OF   THE   CHAIR. 

Are  the  Katheder-Socialisten  really  Socialists?  (265) — Their  statement  of 
the  orthodox  Economy  (266) — and  criticism  thereof  (267) — Their  view 
of  the  functions  of  the  State  (269) — The  social  question  a  question 
of  distribution  (270) — Ethical  side  of  Political  Economy  (271) — The 
Old  Economists  contrasted  with  the  New  (272) — The  Congress  of 
Economists  in  Germany  (273) — Forerunners  of  the  new  school  (275) 
— First  Congress  of  the  new  school  at  Eisenach,  1872  :  Professor 
Schmoller's  address  (276) — "  The  Association  for  Social  Politics  " 
(277) — Recent  writings  by  the  New  Economists  (278) — Professor  Wag- 
ner's theory  of  economic  development  (279) — Property  not  an  immutable 
right  (280) — The  opinions  of  the  New  Economists  not  uniform  (281) 
— Professor  Nasse's  summary  of  the  work  of  the  new  school  (282) — 
Its  future  (283). 


SOCIALISM   IN   ENGLAND. 

Three  Socialistic  movements  in  England  (287) — Land  Nationalization  : 
J.  S.  Mill's  proposal  (288) — Henry  George  :  biographical  sketch  (289) 
His  statement  of  the  social  problem  (291) — His  answer   (292) — His 


Vlll  CONTENTS. 

critics  (293) — Mr.  Wallace's  proposals  (294) — His  views  as  to  com- 
pensation (295) — "The  right  to  choose  a  home"  (296) — The  Land 
Nationalization  Society  (297) — The  Land  Restoration  Leagues  of 
England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland  (298) — Prospects  of  the  movement 
(299) — Christian  Socialism  :  Maurice  and  Kingsley  (300) — How 
they  differed  from  the  Socialists  of  to-day  (301) — Their  connection 
with  the  co-operative  movement  (302) — The  Guild  of  St.  Matthew 
(303) — The  Church  and  Socialism  (304) — The  Bible  and  Socialism 
(305) — Political  Economy  and  Christian  Socialism  (306) — "  Socialism 
by  Taxation  "  (307) — The  dwellings  of  the  poor  (308) — Government 
workshops  (309) — The  Social  Democratic  Federation  (311) — 
Mr.  Hyndman's  book:  "The  Historical  Basis  of  Socialism  in  Eng- 
land" (312) — The  theory  of  value  (313) —Surplus  value  (314)  — 
Machines  (315) — The  Manifesto  of  the  Social  Democrats  (317)— No 
compensation  (318) — The  Collectivist  State  (321) — Revolution  a  con- 
dition precedent  (323) — Social  Reformers  (325) — The  co-operative 
movement  (327) — Profit-sharing  (329) — Socialism  by  evolution  (331). 


TRANSLATOR'S    PREFACE. 


No  apology  is  needed  for  bringing  before  English  readers  a  ■  ^, - 
translation  of  a  work  by  so  eminent  a  writer  and  so  profound  ■-■  ^'^^ 
a  thinker  as  M.  de  Laveleye,  upon  so  important  a  question  of 
the  day  as  Socialism.  The  term  Socialist  is  an  exceedingly 
elastic  one.  It  has  been  used  to  include  a  revolutionary 
anarchist,  like  Bakunin,  who  seeks  to  destroy,  by  any  and 
every  means,  all  States  and  all  institutions,  and  to  eradicate 
utterly  the  very  idea  of  authority,  as  well  as  a  constructive 
statesman  of  the  conservative  type,  like  Prince  Bismarck, 
whose  aim  is  to  concentrate  much  power  and  many  functions 
in  the  hands  of  a  paternal  government.  There  are  Tory  and 
Radical  Socialists,  State  and  Communal  Socialists,  Christian 
and  Atheist  Socialists,  Socialists  who  are  Collectivists,  Com- 
munists, or  Anarchists,  Socialists  of  the  Chair,  and  "  Socialists  :; 
of  the  Pothouse."  Other  shades  and  subdivisions  might  ' 
easily  be  added,  but  under  one  or  other  of  its  numerous  forms, 
Socialism  is  daily  gaining  fresh  adherents  in  almost  all  civilized 
coiintries.  The  recruits  of  even  the  more  extreme  sections 
are,  moreover,  no  longer  confined  to  the  ranks  of  the  unedu- 
cated or  the  non-propertied  classes.  Even  in  England,  among 
persons  whom  it  would  be  misleading  to  call  Socialists,  there 
is  an  increasing  dissatisfaction  with  our  present  industrial 
system,  a  growing  feeling  that  the  old  principle  of  laissez  faire 


X  TRANSLATOR'S  PREFACE. 

has  in  some  cases  been  pushed  too  far,  and  that  the  conflict  of 
individual  self-interests  cannot  always  be  relied  upon  to  produce 
the  welfare  of  the  whole.  These  ideas  are  more  in  the  nature 
of  a  feeling  or  sentiment  than  of  a  reasoned  conviction.  A 
critical  survey  of  the  socialistic  thought  of  Europe,  such  as 
M.  de  Laveleye  has  made,  is  certainly  well  calculated  to  assist 
the  formation  of  a  rational  judgment. 

There  are,  however,  Socialists  of  several  types  in  England 
too,   and,   accordingly,    I   have   ventured   to   add   to    M.    de 
Laveleye's  account  of  European  Socialism,  a  chapter  on  con- 
temporary  Socialism   in    England.     In   this   chapter    I   have 
endeavoured   to   give   a   faithful   account  of  the  three   main 
socialistic  movements  at  present  stirring  amongst  us,  viz.  the 
movement  for  the  Nationalization  of  the  Land,  which  has  taken 
more  forms  than  one,  but  which  is  mainly  associated  with  the 
name  of  Henry  George ;  the  Christian  Socialist  movement,  of 
which  the  Guild  of  St.   Matthew,  marching  far   beyond  the 
position  taken  up   by  Maurice  and   Kingsley,  represents  the 
van ;    and   the   thorough-going   Collectivist   agitation   of  the 
Social  Democratic  Federation,  which  aims  at  the  complete 
overthrow  of  the  existing  social,  economical,  and  political  order, 
and  the  concentration  of  the  land,  and  all  the  instruments  of 
production  of  the  country  in  the  hands  of  a  democratic  State. 
These  movements  may  as  yet  be  small  in  comparison  with 
some  of  those  on  the  continent  described  by  M.  de  Laveleye ; 
nevertheless,  as  a  German  writer,  speaking  of  another  matter, 
once  said,  "  Sirius  may  be  larger  than  the  Sun,  but  he  does  not 
ripen  our  grapes,"  and  in  the  same  way  to  English  readers,  an 
account  of  what  is  going  on,  perhaps  without  their  knowing  it, 
in  their  midst,  comparatively  slight  as  the  movements  may  be, 
ought  to  be  of  some  interest. 

The  time  is  indeed  at  hand  when  England,  as  well  as  other 
democracies,  if  she  is  in  any  way  to  control  her  destinies,  must 
make  up   her  mind   not  only  as  to  the  true  goal  of  social 


TRANSLATOR'S  PREFACE.  XI 

organization  to  be  kept  in  view,  but  also  as  to  the  best  and 
surest  way  of  reaching  that  goal ;  and  every  citizen  who  cares 
for  the'good  of  his  fellow-men,  who  wishes  to  form  an  intelligent 
opinion  on  the  political  proposals  of  the  day,  who  desires  to 
exercise,  in  however  humble  a  way,  a  wholesome  influence  on 
the  social  development  of  his  country,  should  endeavour  to 
understand  at  least  the  bearings  of  the  problem.  Beside  this 
problem,  all  questions  touching  the  extension  of  the  Franchise, 
the  abolition  of  the  House  of  Lords,  or  even  the  reformation 
of  the  House  of  Commons,  sink  into  insignificance.  The 
decision  of  these  latter  points  will  merely  answer  the  question, 
what  sort  of  servants  shall  the  nation  employ?  The  more 
fundamental  questions  are  :  what  sort  of  duties  shall  the  nation 
entrust  to  its  servants?  what  sort  of  commands  shall  the 
nation  give  ? 

GODDARD  H.  ORPEN. 

I,  Stone  Buildings,  Lincoln's  Inn. 


INTRODUCTION. 


THE   PROGRESS    OF    SOCIALISM. 

WHEN  Louis  Reybaud,  in  1853,  wrote  the  article  in  the 
Dictionttaire  de  V Economic  Politique  on  '■'■  Socialism  " 
— a  term  to  which  he  first  gave  currency — he  believed  that  we 
had  heard  the  last  of  the  disordered  hallucinations  of  Socialists. 
"Socialism  is  dead,"  he  exclaimed;  "to  speak  of  it  is  to  pro-'; 
nounce  its  funeral  oration."  This  was,  in  fact,  the  general 
opinion  some  years  ago.  Systems  of  Socialism  were  then 
studied  only  as  curious  examples  of  the  aberrations  of  the 
human  mind. 

To-day  we  have  fallen  into  the  opposite  extreme  :  we  see| 
Socialism  everywhere.     The  red  spectre  haunts  our  imagina-; 
tions,  and  we  fancy  ourselves  on  the  eve  of  a  social  cataclysm. 
What  is  certain  is,  that  Socialism  has  recently  spread,  under 
various  forms,  to  an  extraordinary  extent.     In  its  violent  form, 
it  is  taking  possession  of  the  minds  of  almost  all  mining  and 
manufacturing   operatives,    and    at    this    very   moment    it   is 
beginning  to  invade  the  rural  districts.     The  agrarian  move- 
ment  which   lately   agitated    Ireland,    which    has  just   been 
suppressed  in  Andalusia,  and  which  is  brcAving  in  other  places, 
is   plainly   inspired   by   socialistic   ideas.     In   scientific   garb,  • 
Socialism  is  transforming  political  economy  and  iLOCcupying;; 
the  greater  number  of  professorial    chairs   in   Germany  and 
Italy.      Under   the   form   of  State    Socialism,    it   sits   in   the 
council-chamber  of  sovereigns ;  and  finally,  under  a  Christian 
form,  it  is  making  its  influence  felt  in  the  hearts  of  the  Catholic 
clergy,  and  still  more  in  the  hearts  of  the  ministers  of  the 
different  Protestant  denominations. 

b 


XIV  INTRODUCTION. 

In  the  debate  which  took  place  on  the  23rd  May,' 1878, 
in  the  German  ParUament,  when  the  Anti-Sociahst  Bill  was 
introduced  by  the  Imperial  Government,  Deputy  Joerg,  one 
of  the  most  distinguished  orators  of  Catholic  Germany,  very 
justly  said,   "  A  movement  almost  imperceptible  at  its  outset 
has  spread  with  unprecedented  rapidity.     This  extraordinary 
development  of  Socialism  can  only  be  accounted  for  by  con- 
sidering it  as  the  consequence  of  the  profound  modifications 
which  have  taken  place  in  economic  and  social  conditions. 
Yes,  modern  civilization  has  its  dark  side,  and  that  dark  side 
is~'Socralism.     It   will   not   disappear   so   long  as  civilization 
continues  to  be  what  it  now  is.     Socialism  is  not  a  plague 
\  peculiar  to  Germany.     It  has  taken  up  its  head-quarters  here, 
(  and  has  received  in  our  country  its  philosophical  and  scientific 
education,  but  it  is  to  be  met  with  everywhere,  it  is  a  universal 
evil."     England  alone  seemed  to  be  free  from  it ;  but  the  extra- 
ordinary  success   which   has   attended   the   schemes   for   the 
nationalization  of  the  land,  and  the  publications  of  Mr.  Henry 
George  and  Mr.  A.  R.  Wallace,  prove  that  this  immunity  is  a 
thing  of  the  past. 

What  is  Socialism  ?     I  have  never  met  with  either  a  clear 
definition  or  even  precise  description  of  the  word.     Every  one 
is  a  Socialist  in  somebody's  eyes.     Since  his  agrarian  legislation 
for  Ireland,   Mr.   Gladstone  is  considered  by  the  Irish  Con- 
servatives as  a  Socialist  of  the  worst  type.     Prince  Bismarck, 
.  the  friend  of  Lassalle  and  Schsefifle,  the  author  of  the  terrible 
I  proposal  for  establishing,  by  means  of  the  tobacco  monopoly, 
'  a  superannuation  fund  for  invalid  workmen,  can  hardly  defend 
himself  from  the  charge  of  being  a  Socialist;  and,  for  the  matter 
of  that,  he  readily  avows  that  he  is  one.     The  statesmen  in 
France,  who  recently  wished  all  the  railways  to  be  taken  up 
and  worked  by  the  State,  were  assuredly  Socialists.     Finally, 
since  the  famous  pamphlets  of  Bastiat,  every  out-and-out  free- 
trader and   every  rigid   economist   is    firmly   convmced   that 
whoever  does  not  admit  the  wisdom  of  full  freedom  of  com- 
merce is  infected  with  Socialism  and  Communism.     Proudhon, 
far  from  wishing  to  strengthen  the  action  of  the  State,  called 
for  its  abolition  under  the  name  of  "Anarchy."     Was  he  not, 


INTRODUCTION.  XV 

then,  a  Socialist  ?  After  "  the  Days  of  June,"  in  1848,  Proudhon 
said  to  the  magistrate  who  examined  him,  that  he  went  to  con- 
template "the  sublime  horrors  of  tlie  cannonade."  "But," 
said  the  magistrate,  "are  you  not,  then,  a  Socialist?"  "Cer- 
tainly." "Well,  but  what,  then,  is  Socialism?  "  "It  is," replied 
Proudhon,  "  every  aspiration  towards  the  improvement  of 
society."  "  But  in  that  case,"  very  justly  remarked  the  magis- 
trate, "we  are  all  Socialists."  "That  is  precisely  what  I 
think,"  rejoined  Proudhon. 

Proudhon's  definition  is  too  wide  ;  it  omits  two  charac- 
teristics. In  the  first  place,  every  socialistic  doctrine  aims  at 
introducing  greater  equahty  into  social  conditions;  and  secondly, 
it  tries  to  realize  these  reforms  by  the  action  of  the  law  or  \ 
the  State.  Socialism  _is_an^  equalizer  and  a  leveller j  and  it  \ 
doe"s""n6r  admit  that  mere  liberty  can  usher  in  the  reign  of  | 
justice.  All  sensible  economists  recognize  the  existence  of 
many  evils  and  iniquities  in  society  ;  but  they  think  that  these 
evils  will  decrease  under  the  influence  of  "  natural  laws  "  and 
the  beneficial  results  of  laissez  faire.  Christianity  condemns 
riches  and  inequality  with  all  the  vehemence  of  Socialism ;  but 
it  is  not  to  the  State  that  it  looks  for  the  establishment  of  the 
reign  of  justice.  The  Socialist  is  a  pessimist.  He  places  in  | 
full  relief  the  bad  side  of  the  social  state.  He  points  to  the 
strong  crushing  the  weak,  the  rich  making  gain  out  of  the 
poor,  inequality  becoming  harsher  and  more  pronounced.  He 
aspires  to  an  ideal  where  well-being  will  be  allotted  in  propor- 
tion to  desert  and  to  services  rendered.  The  economist  is 
an  optimist.  He  does  not  go  so  far  as  to  pretend  that  all 
is  perfect ;  but  he  thinks  that  man,  in  pursuing  his  individual 
interests,  advances  the  general  weal  as  much  as  possible,  and 
that  from  the  free  play  of  all  his  self-regarding  instincts  there 
will  result  a  better  order  of  things.  Consequently,  according 
to  him,  the  only  thing  to  be  done  is  to  get  rid  of  all  shackles, 
to  reduce  the  action  of  the  State  to  a  minimum,  and  to  interfere 
in  the  way  of  government  as  little  as  possible. 

Let  us  endeavour  to  point  out  the  causes  of  the  origin  and    '^ 
growth  of  modern  Socialism.  ' 

As   soon   as   man   had   attained   sufficient   culture   to   be  \ 


XVI  INTRODUCTION. 

impressed  with  social  evils,  and  at  the  same  time  to  rise  to 
the  idea  of  a  more  perfect  order  of  things,  dreams  of  social 
reforms  must  have  arisen  in  his  mind.  Accordingly,  in  all 
epochs  and  in  every  land,  after  primitive  equality  had  dis- 
appeared, socialistic  aspirations  are  to  be  met  with,  now  under 
the  form  of  a  protest  against  existing  evil,  now  under  that  of 
Utopian  plans  of  social  reconstruction.  The  most  perfect 
example  of  these  Utopias  is  that  wonderful  worlc  of  Hellenic 
Spiritualism,  the  Republic  of  Plato.  But  it  was  from  Jud?ea 
that  there  arose  the  most  persistent  protests  against  inequality 
and  the  most  ardent  aspirations  after  justice  that  have  ever 
raised  humanity  out  of  the  actual  into  the  ideal.  We  feel  the 
J  effect  still.  It  is  thence  has  come  that  leaven  of  revolution 
which  still  moves  the  world.  Job  saw  evil  triumphant,  and 
yet  believed  in  justice.  Israel's  prophets,  while  thundering 
against  iniquity,  announced  the  good  time  coming.  In  the 
Gospel,  these  ideas  are  expressed  in  that  simple  penetrating 
language  that  has  moved  and  transformed  all  who  have  hear^l 
and  understood  it.  "  The  Glad  Tidings"  (Etiayye'Atov)  are 
announced  to  the  poor  :  the  last  shall  be  first  and  the  first 
last;  blessed  are  the  peacemakers,  for  they  shall  inherit  the 
earth ;  woe  unto  you  that  are  rich,  for  ye  have  received  your 
consolation ;  the  kingdom  of  Heaven  is  at  hand  ;  this  genera- 
tion shall  not  pass  away  till  ye  shall  see  the  Son  of  Man 
coming  with  power  and  great  glory.  It  was  on  this  earth 
that  the  transformation  was  to  take  place.  The  early  Chris- 
tians all  believed  in  the  millennium.  Instinctively,  and  as  the 
natural  consequence  of  their  faith,  they  established  a  system 
of  communism ;  and  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  may  be  found 
the  touching  picture  of  the  disciples  of  Jesus  living  at  Jerusalem 
"with  all  things  in  common." 

As  time  passed,  and  the  idea  of  a  "  kingdom "  on  earth 
had  to  be  abandoned,  men  turned  their  eyes  towards  "  another 
world"  in  Heaven;  nevertheless,  that  love  of  justice  and 
equality  common  to  the  Prophets  and  the  Gospel  still  found 
ominous  utterance  in  the  writings  of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church. 
Whenever  the  people  have  taken  up  the  Bible,  and  allowed 
their  minds  to  be  thoroughly  imbued  with  its  teaching,  they 


INTRODUCTION.  xvii 

have  come  forth  strong  with  the  spirit  of  reform  and  equaliza- 
tion. Whenever  the  reUgious  sentiment  involves  a  belief  in 
divine  justice,  and  a  longing  to  see  it  realized  here  below, 
it  leads  of  necessity  to  the  condemnation  of  the  iniquity  which 
reigns  in  existing  social  relations,  and,  by  a  natural  conse- 
quence, to  aspirations  at  once  levelling  and  sociaHstic.  During; 
the  Middle  Ages,  the  communistic  ideas  of  the  Millenarians 
were  perpetuated  by  the  Gnostics,  by  the  disciples  of  Waldo, 
by  the  Mendicant  Orders,  by  the  Taborites  in  Bohemia,  by 
the  Anabaptists  in  Germany,  and  by  the  Levellers  in  England. 
It  was  these  ideas,  too,  that  inspired  all  those  dreams  of  a 
perfect  society,  such  as  the  Everlastmg  Gospel  of  Joachim, 
Abbot  of  Fiore  in  Calabria,  the  Utopia  of  Sir  Thomas  More, 
the  Civitas  Soils  of  Campanella,  the  Oceana  of  Harrington,  and 
the  Salente  of  Fenelon.  As  Dante  says,  St.  Francis  of  Assisi 
raised  up  and  espoused  Poverty,  abandoned  since  the  death 
q£  Jesus  Christ.  Tlie  convent,  banishing  all  source  of  discord 
and  all  distinction  between  "  mine  "  and  "  thine,"  appeared, 
as  it  were,  the  realization  of  the  Christian  ideal.  The  canonical 
law  itself  says,  Dulcissima  reriwi  possessio  comimmis,  and 
all  sects  animated  by  a  lofty  spiritualism  have  always  aspired 
to  transform  society  into  a  community  of  brothers  and  equals. 

We  find  these  ideas  clearly  expressed  in  a  Flemish  poem 
of  the  thirteenth  century  written  by  Jacob  Van  Maerlant 
(1235),  and  entitled  Wapene,  Marty n  I  where,  alluding  to  the 
Sachsen-Spiegel,  he  says  : — 

"  Martyn,  die  deutsche  Loy  vertelt 
Dat  van  onrechter  Gewelt 
Eygendom  is  comen." 

("Martin,  the  German  law  relates  that  from  unrighteous 
violence,  ownership  is  come.") 

Further  on  Maerlant  exclaims  : — 

"  Twee  worde  in  die  werelt  syn  : 
Dats  allene  myn  ende  dyn. 
Moeht  men  die  verdriven, 
Pays  ende  vrede  bleve  fyn  ; 
Het  ware  al  vri,  niemen  eygin, 
Manne  metten  wiven ; 
Het  waer  gemene  tarwe  ende  wyn." 


li 


xvill  INTRODUCTION. 

("  Two  words  in  the  world  there  be,  these  simply  mine  and 
thine.  Could  one  take  them  away,  peace  there  would  be  and 
freedom.  All  then  would  be  free ;  none  enslaved,  nor  man 
nor  woman  ;  both  corn  and  wine  would  be  in  common.") 

Whenever  these  ideas,  borrowed  from  Christianity  and 
monasticism,  reached  the  masses  at  a  time  when  their  suffer- 
ings had  become  intolerable,  they  provoked  risings  and 
massacres,  such  as  those  of  the  Shepherds  and  the  Jacquerie 
in  France,  the  insurrection  of  Wat  Tyler  in  England,  and 
that  of  John  of  Leyden  m  Germany.* 

Let  us  now  examine  how  Socialism,  abandoning  the 
mystical  region  of  communistic  dreams  and  aspirations  after 
equality,  has  become  the  creed  of  a  political  party.  Ideas 
and  microbes  are  in  this  respect  alike,  that  they  must  find 
favourable  surroundings  before  they  can  thrive.  These  favour- 
able surroundings  have  been  produced  by  a  variety  of  causes, 
chief  among  which  are  the  beliefs  and  aspirations  of  Chris- 
tianity, the  political  principles  embodied  in  our  constitutions 
and  laws,  and  the  changes  in  the  methods  of  production.  .Of 
all  the  influences  favourable  to  the  development  of  Socialism, 
the  most  potent  has  been  the  religious  influence  ;  for  it  has  pro- 
duced in  us  certain  sentiments  which  have  long  formed  part 
of  our  very  nature,  and  in  these  sentiments  the  claims  of 
Sociahsm  find  at  once  a  kind  of  instinctive  origin  and  a 
rational  justification. 

No  one  can  deny  that  Christianity  preaches  the  raising  up 
of  the  poor  and  the  down-trodden.  It  inveighs  against  riches 
as  vehemently  as  the  most  radical  Socialist.  Need  we  recall 
words  graven  in  the  memory  of  every  one  ?  Even  after  her 
alliance  with  absolute  monarchy,  the  Catholic  Church  uttered 
these  words  by  the  mouth  of  Bossuet  "  The  murmurs  of  the 
poor  are  just.  Wherefore  this  inequality  of  conditions  ?  All  are 
made  of  the  same  clay,  and  there  is  no  way  to  justify  inequality 
unless  by  saying  that  God  has  commended  the  poor  unto  the 

*  See  The  History  of  Socialism,  Die  Socialisten,  by  M.  Quack,  un- 
fortunately not  finished  ;  also  that  by  M.  B.  Malon. 

t  See  his  sermon,  "  ^'wr  les  dispositions  relativement  atix  '  nicessites 
de  la  vie." 


INTRODUCTION.  xix 

rich,  and  assigned  to  the  former  the  means  of  Hvlng  out  of  the 
abundance  of  the  latter,  ut  fiat  equalitas.,  as  St.  Paul  says."  * 

Bossuet  has  merely  reproduced  what  may  be  read  on  every  i  > 
page  of  the  Christian  Fathers.  "The  rich  man  is  a  thief"!  ^ 
(St.  Basil).  "  The  rich  are  robbers ;  a  kind  of  equality  must 
be  effected  by  making  gifts  out  of  their  abundance.  Better  all 
things  were  in  common "  (St.  Chrysostom).  "  Opulence  is 
always  the  product  of  a  theft,  committed,  if  not  by  the  actual 
possessor,  by  his  ancestors"  (St.  Jerome).  "Nature  created 
community;  private  property  is  the  offspring  of  usurpation" 
(St.  Ambrose).  "In  strict  justice,  everything  should  belong 
to  all.  Iniquity  alone  has  created  private  property "  (St^ 
Clement). 

Those  ideas  and  sentiments  which  have  given  birth  to 
Socialism  were  thus  deeply  engraven  upon  our  hearts  and 
minds  by  Christianity.  It  is  impossible  to  read  attentively  the 
prophecies  of  the  Old  Testament  and  the  Gospels,  and  at  the 
same  time  to  cast  a  glance  at  the  existing  economic  conditions^ 
without  condemning  the  latter  in  the  name  of  the  Christian 
ideal.  Every  Christian,  who  understands  and  earnestly  accepts  I 
the  teaching  of  his  Master,  is  at  heart  a  Socialist;  and  every] 
Socialist,  whatever  may  be  his  hatred  against  all  religion,  Bears 
within  himself  an  unconscious  Christianity.  Followers  of  Darwin^ 
and  those  economists  who  maintain  that  human  societies  are 
governed  by  natural  laws  to  which  a  free  course  should  be  given, 
are  the  real  and  only  logical  adversaries  at  once  of  Christianity 
and  of  Socialism.  According  to  Darwin,  there  is  a  tendency 
towards  improvement  among  living  beings,  because  only  those 
survive  in  the  struggle  for  existence  which  are  best  adapted  to  | 
their  circumstances.  The  strongest,  the  bravest,  the  best  armed  | 
slowly  eliminate  the  weaker,  and  thus  are  evolved  races  more 
and  more  perfect.  This  optimism  of  the  naturalist  is  the 
foundation  of  all  orthodox  political  economy.  In  societies  of 
men  the  goal  is  the  greatest  good  of  the  greatest  number,  but 
this  is  to  be  attained  by  allowing  free  scope  to  natural  laws, 
and  not  by  trying  to  introduce  any  plans  of  reform  of  human 
invention.     '■^Laissezfaire,  laissez  passer."  (Leave  things  alone, 

*  2  Corinthians  viii.  14. 


/" 


XX  INTRODUCTION. 

I  let  them  go  on  as  they  are  doing.)    In  free  competition  the^ 
I  most  able  succeed,  and  this  should  be  our  desire.     Nothing 
could   be  more   absurd  than   to    endeavour,   by   misdirected 
charity,  to  preserve   those  whom  nature  has  condemned   to 

ij  disappear,  and  thus  place  obstacles  in  the  way  of  progress. 
Yield  place  to  the  strong,  for  might  makes  right. 

Christianity  and  Socialism  hold  quite  another  language. 
They  declare  war  against  the  strong,  that  is  to  say,  the  rich, 
and  aspire  to  raise  up  the  poor  and  the  down-trodden.  They 
subordinate  these  so-called  natural  laws  to  the  law  of  Justice. 
Let  there  be  full  liberty,  but  only  under  the  guidance  of  right. 
In  the  words  of  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  "  Blessed  are  they 
which  do  hunger  and  thirst  after  righteousness,  for  they  shall 
be  filled."  It  is  impossible  to  understand  by  what  strange 
blindness  Socialists  adopt  Darwinian  theories,  which  condemn 
their  claims  of  equality,  while  at  the  same  time  they  reject 
Christianity,  whence   those   claims  have  issued   and   whence 

J  J  their  justification  may  be  found.  At  all  events,  we  may 
conclude  that  the  religion  which  has  shaped  us  all,  advocates 
as  well  as  adversaries,  has  formulated  in  the  clearest  terms  the 
principles  of  Socialism,  and  that  it  is  precisely  in  Christian 
countries  that  socialistic  doctrines  have  taken  deepest  root. 

Let  us  now  consider  the  way  in  which  religious  Socialism 
has  become  the  political  Socialism  of  our  day.  When  the 
Declaration  of  Independence  in  the  United  States,  and  the 
French  Revolution,  proclaimed  the  sovereignty  of  the  people, 
and  inscribed  the  equality  of  men  among  the  articles  of  the 
constitution,  the  principle  of  the  brotherhood  of  man  descended 
from  the  heights  of  the  ideal  and  from  the  dreams  of  Utopia 
to  become  thenceforth  the  watchword  of  the  radical  party  in 
every  country  to  which  the  ideas  that  triumphed  in  America 
and   Paris    have  spread.     Equality   of  political    rights    leads 

i'i  inevitably   to    the    demand   for   equaUty    of  conditions,    that 

'is  to  say,  the  apportionment  of  well-being  according  to  work 
accomplished.  Universal  suffrage  demands  as  its  complement 
universal  well-being ;  for  it  is  a  paradox  that  the  people  should 
be  at  once  wretched  and  sovereign.     As  Aristotle  and  Montes- 

I't  quieu  so  continually  insist,  democratic  institutions  presuppose 


TNTRODUCTION. 


XXI 


equality  of  conditions,  for  otherwise  the  poor  elector  will  use 
his  vote  to  pass  laws  for  the  increase  of  his  share  of  the  good 
things  of  life  at  the  expense  of  the  privileged  classes. 

M.  Paul  Janet,  in  his  Origines  die  Socialisme,  and  M.  Taine, 
in  his  book  on  the  Revolution,  show  how,  after  1789,  as  with 
Rousseau,  the  idea  of  political  equality  led  to  that  of  a  greater 
social  equality,  even  without  any  reconstruction  of  society  after 
the  manner  of  Baboeuf.  The  excellent  Abbe  Fauchet  exclaims, 
"  Where  is  the  wretch  who  wishes  to  see  a  continuation  of  this 
atrocious  regime,  where  the  miserable  are  counted  by  millions 
amid  a  handful  of  arrogant  persons  who  have  done  nothing  that 
they  should  possess  all  ?  "  In  the  "  Four  Cries  of  a  Patriot," 
the  question  is  asked,  What  is  the  good  of  a  constitution  for 
a  nation  of  skeletons  ?  and  "  a  terrible  insurrection  of  twenty 
million  indigent  persons  without  property  is  announced." 
Chaumette  says,  "  We  have  destroyed  the  nobles  and  the 
Capets,  there  remains  still  an  aristocracy  to  overturn,  that  of 
the  rich."  Chalier  of  Lyons,  whose  enthusiasm  was  so  i 
seductive  to  Michelet,  says,  "  All  pleasure  is  criminal  as  long  ! 
as  the  sans-cidottes  suffer."  Tallien  desires  "an  equality  full ' 
and  complete,"  and  he  proposes  to  send  "  to  the  bottom  of 
the  dungeons  "  all  proprietors,  whom  he  styles  public  robbers. 
One  member  of  the  convention,  Fr.  Dupont,  reproduces  the 
doctrine  of  St.  Paul,  and  maintains  that  "  no  individual  in  the 
Republic  should  live  without  working."  "  Oblige  every  one  to 
do  some  work,"  says  Saint-Just.  "  What  right  in  the  country 
have  those  who  do  nothing  in  it  ? "  In  a  tolerably  moderate 
paper,  UAvii  des  Lois,  is  met  the  fundamental  doctrine  of 
contemporary  Socialism,  namely,  that  to .  each  should  belong  I 
the  fiill  fruits  of  his  labour.  In  an  article  by  tfie  proconsul 
Foiiche,  published  at  Antwerp  on  the  2nd  of  September,  in  the 
year  II.,  we  read  these  words  :  "  Whereas  equality  should  not 
become  a  deceitful  illusion,  and  all  citizens  ought  to  have  an 
equal  share  in  the  advantages  of  society."  Already  Necker 
had  appreciated  the  gravity  of  the  social  question ;  for  he  says 
to  the  landowners  in  his  book  on  the  Corn  Laws,  "  Are  your 
title  deeds  inscribed  in  the  Code  ?  Have  you  brought  your 
land  from  a  neighbouring  planet  ?     No ;  you  enjoy  your  pos- 


MbUntkaMJUMUWAVH^'" 


XXU  INTRODUCTIOxV. 

sessions  by  virtue  of  an  agreement  only."  Elsewhere  he  thus 
sums  up  the  conflict  between  the  rich  and  the  poor  :  "It  is  an 
obscure  but  terrible  combat,  in  which  the  powerful,  shielded 
by  the  law,  oppress  the  feeble,  and  where  property  crushes 
labour  by  the  weight  of  its  prerogative.  The  capitalists  have 
the  power  of  giving  only  the  minimum  salary  in  exchange  for 
labour.  They  always  impose  the  law  ;  the  labourers  are  obliged 
to  receive  it."  The  idea  which  Montesquieu  borrowed  from 
Aristotle,  namely,  that  democracy  should  have  for  basis  a  grand 
equality  of  conditions,  is  reproduced  on  all  sides.  Rabaud 
Saint  Etienne  desires  that  equality  of  wealth  should  be 
established,  not  by  force,  but  by  law,  and  should  be  main- 
tained by  laws  calculated  to  prevent  future  inequalities^,  "  In 
a  well-ordered  republic,  no  person  would  be  without  some 
property"  (Report  of  Barrere,  22  Floreal,  year  II.).  "Wealth 
and  opulence  should  both  disappear  before  the  reign  of 
equality "  (Order  of  the  Commune  of  Paris,  3  Frimaire, 
year  III.).  "A  real  equality  is  the  ultimate  aim  of  social 
science  "  (Condorcet,  Frogres  de  L Esprit  Hiimain,  II.,  59). 
"We  wish  to  apply  to  politics  the  same  equality  that  the 
Gospel  grants  to  Christians "  (Baudot,  quoted  by  Quinet, 
Revolution  Fraiicaise,  II.,  407).  "Opulence  is  infamous" 
(Saint-Just).  "The  richest  Frenchman  should  not  have  an 
income  of  more  than  300  livres'"  (Robespierre).  "  Ut  redeat 
miseris,  abeat  fortima  stiperbis,"  is  the  motto  of  Marat's  paper. 
The  idea  of  the  French  Revolution,  freed  from  the  extrava- 
gances of  the  contest,  is  exactly  summed  up  by  the  philosopher 
Joubert,  when  he  says,  "  Men  are  born  unequal.  It  is  the 
great  benefit  of  society  to  diminish  this  inequality  as  much  as 
possible,  by  granting  to  all  security,  a  competency,  education, 
and  help "  {Pensees,  XIV.,  Du  Gouvernement  et  des  Consti- 
tutions, XXXVIIL). 

At  the  very  time  that  equal  rights  were  granted  to  all  men, 
a  change  in  the  methods  of  production  brought  about  a  pro- 
found alteration  in  the  condition  of  the  workers.  By  losing 
their  ancient  guarantees  they  became  more  dependent ;  and 
while  raised  to  the  rank  of  sovereign  in  the  political  regime,  in 
the  economic  order  they  fell  to  the  condition   of  hirelings. 


INTRODUCTION.  XX  111 

This  should  be  clearly  understood,  as  it  is  from  these  altered 
circumstances  that  the  Socialism  of  to-day  has  sprung. 

The  economic  conditions  of  civilized  societies  have  been     , 
completely  changed  since  the  end  of  the  last  century.     The  j| 
"capitalistic"   regime   has    been   introduced.      Capital,    ever     t 
growing,  has  indeed  increased  the  power  of  the  means  of  pro- 
duction and  the  aggregate  of  products  tenfold,  but  at  the  same 
time   it    has    enslaved    labour.     The   machine   multiplies    its 
wonders,  but  it  does  not  belong  to  the  worker  ;  he  is  its  slave, 
not"its   master.     Formerly    it   was  not    so.     Thanks    to    the 
privileges  of  the  trade  guilds,  labour  was  in  olden  time  an   \ 
actual  property.     Now  it  has  become  an  article  of  commerce, 
the  price  of  which  rises  or  falls  according  to  the  demand,  and 
which  sometimes  fails  to  find  a  purchaser.     Wages  are  now 
often  higher  than  formerly,  but  they  are  always  uncertain  and 
changeable.     When  a  stoppage  of  work,  resulting  from  a  crisis 
which  the  labourer  can  neither  foresee  nor  prevent,  deprives 
him   of  all   means    of  subsistence,    no   person    is  obliged   to 
maintain  him.     He  is  free ;  his  wages  have  been  paid ;  and  he 
must  look  out  for  himself 

The  lot  of  the  agricultural  labourer  and  the  portion  of  the 
fruits   of  his  labour  which  he  might  keep  for   himself  were 
formerly  regulated  by  custom.      The  metayer  system  of  co- 
operation  farming,  the   customs  of  perpetual  leases,   and  of 
payment  of  rent  in  kind,  were  not  liable  to  change,  and  thet 
future  of  the  peasant  was  thus  secured.     His  existence  did  not' 
depend  upon  the  stern  law  of  competition.     Rent,  like  wages, 
is  to-day  determined  by  the  law  of  supply  and  demand.     No 
doubt  the  serf  was  bound  to  the  soil,  but  he  had  the  right  to 
live  and  die  upon  it.     To-day  no  legal  tie  binds  the  tenant  to 
the  land  which  he  improves.     The  landlord  can  remove  him  at 
the  end  of  his  term,  or  he  can  raise  the  rent  according  as. the  \^ 
value  of  the  land  increases. 

Formerly  the  commune  was,  as  it  were,  a  protecting  parent 
to  the  peasant ;  it  furnished  the  wood  for  building,  repairing, 
and  heating  his  house,  pasturage  for  his  cattle,  and  also  the 
land  from  which  he  drew  his  sustenance.  Every  family  or 
community  of  families  had  their  portion  of  the  soil  in  considera- 


XXIV  INTRODUCTION. 

ti©n  of  certain  fixed  duties.  The  commune  was  far  more 
than  a  mere  pohtical  division  of  the  territory.  It  was  an 
economic  institution  administered  by  those  who  constituted  it. 
In  the  towns,  his  trade  guild  was  to  the  handicraftsman  what 
the  commune  was  to  the  peasant ;  it  assured  him  work,  a 
market,  and  the  means  of  making  his  hving.  The  administra- 
tion of  their  joint  interests,  their  social  gatherings,  and  their 
festivals  formed  a  strong  bond  of  union  among  workers  of  the 
same  trade. 

For  them  also  "  their  to-morrow  "  was  assured.     In  the  city 
as  in  the  country  the  producer  retained  in  his  own  hands  the 
instruments  of  production.      It  was  labour  that  then  owned 
/  capital.     Such  a  thing  did  not  then  exist  as  a  mere  wage-earner, 
!  a  man  without  bonds  of  interest  either  with  his  fellow-workrnen 
I  or  with  the  land,  without  guarantee  or  security  of  any  kind, 
I  living  from  day  to  day  on  what  capital  might  grant  him.     To- 
day this  is  the  typical  form  under  which  labour,  the  principal 
factor  of  production,  appears. 

In  short,  while  formerly  the  condition  of  those  whose  arms 
create  all  wealth  was  guaranteed  by  custom,  it  depends  to-day 
on  the  fluctuations  of  the  market  and  on  the  force  of  competi- 
tion, that  is  to  say,  in  appearance  at  least,  on  the  will  of 
landowners  and  capitalists. 

We  live  under  the  regime  of  complete  freedom  of  contract ; 
but  in  every  contract,  he  who  supplies  that  which  is  essential  to 
a  man  to  live  by  labour,  namely,  the  land  and  the  capital,  will 
dictate  the  terms  of  the  bargain  and  will  cause  rent  to  be 
\  \i  brought  to  a  maximum  and  wages  to  a  minimum.  Now  that 
all  those  traditional  and  customary  barriers,  which  once 
protected  the  weak  and  helpless,  have  fallen,  the  Darwinian  law 
of  the  "  struggle  for  existence  "  reigns  supreme  in  the  economic 
w^orld.  The  strongest  wins  the  day,  and  the  strongest,  in  this  . 
case,  means  the  richest,       •  ' — ^''  '^-■ 

Now  if  we  consider  the  changes  which  industrial  progress 
has  introduced  among  social  conditions,  we  see  that  the  same 
economic  influences  which  make  men  more  equal,  create,  at  the 
same  time,  an  antagonism  between  master  and  workmen,  and 
that   thus   the    causes    which   bring    about   the    triumph    of 


i 


INTRODUCTION.  XXV 

Democracy  are  likewise  favourable  to  tlie  advance  of  Social- 
ism. 

Consider  how  the  industrial  work  of  the  Middle  Ages  was 
carried  on.  Take,  for  example,  the  woollen  trade,  which  in  \ 
England  and  in  Flanders  exported  its  produce  to  all  parts  of  1 
the  world,  and  which  created  powerful  and  populous  towns.  ;. 
We  can  see  the  home  life  of  the  artisan  with  the  help  of  some 
graphic  records.  Seated  at  the  loom,  he  weaves  the  cloth 
while  his  children  prepare  the  distaff  by  his  side,  and  his  wife 
spins  at  her  wheel.  In  this  way  the  whole  work  was  performed 
at  his  domestic  hearth.  The  master  worked  with  his  own 
hands,  aided  by  his  family  and  some  apprentices.  He  needed 
but  a  trifling  capital.  The  education,  the  social  position,  the 
way  of  living  and  thinking  of  the  master  and  his  men  were  very 
similar.  The  privileges  of  the  guilds  might  produce  some 
discontent,  but  not  such  as  would  ever  degenerate  into  class 
antagonism,  for  both  workman  and  employer  belonged  to  the 
same  social  stratum.  No  doubt  towards  the  end  of  the 
Middle  Ages  the  increase  of  wealth  and  inequality  introduced 
some  strife  into  the  communes  of  Flanders,  and  still  more  into 
those  of  Italy.  The  struggle,  however,  between  the  great  and 
the  small,  the  fat  and  the  lean,  was  only  a  rivalry  between 
trade  guilds  disputing  certain  political  privileges  among  them- 
selves ;  it  was  not  the  radical  antagonism  of  capitalist  and 
labourer,  nor  the  claim  for  equality  of  social  conditions. 

To-day  production  is  carried  on  by  large  industries  pre- 
senting completely  different  characteristics.     The   operatives  i 
are  obliged  to  leave   their  homes  and  desert   their   famiHes.  | 
They   must  crowd  into  vast  factories,  collecting  around  the  I 
motive  power  which  drives  those  innumerable  and  wonderful' 
engines  that  multiply  human  strength  ten  and  an  hundred  fold. ; 
The  factory  hand,  having  only  to  use  his  muscles  automatically,  • 
has  sunk  below  the  journeyman  and  the  apprentice  of  former 
days,  while  at  the  same  time  the  director-in-chief  of  the  factory 
is  raised  far  above  the  master-workman.     Whether  the  factory 
belongs  to  him  or  he  is  merely  the  manager  of  it,  he  disposes  of 
an  enormous  capital,  and,  like  a  general,  he  commands  an  army 
of  workmen  ;  he  is  either  rich  or  he  is  richly  paid ;  he  must 


1- 


XXVI  INTRODUCTION. 

possess  great  technical  knowledge,  and  have  the  will  necessary 
to  make  himself  obeyed  by  his  numerous  employe's  ;  he  must 
know  the  needs  of  foreign  countries,  the  extent  of  the  market, 
and  the  vicissitudes  of  commerce,  not  only  in  his  own  im- 
mediate neighbourhood,  but  over  the  entire  globe.  For  to-day 
all  countries  are  mutually  dependent,  and  a  crisis  occurring  even 
over  the  seas,  in  either  hemisphere,  re-echoes  everywhere  in  ruins 
and  failures.  By  his  educationj  his  position,  his  way  of  life,  by 
the  very  necessity  of  exercising  his  authority,  the  head  of  a 
factory  belongs  to  quite  another  world  from  that  in  which  the 
operatives  move.  His  Christian  feelings  as  a  man  may  lead 
him  to  regard  them  as  brothers  ;  nevertheless,  he  has  nothing 
in  common  with  them,  they  are  strangers  to  each  other.  In 
vain  he  may  wish  to  increase  their  wages  or  improve  their 
condition,  he  cannot  do  it.  Competition  forces  him,  in  spite 
of  himself,  to  reduce  the  cost  of  production  as  much  as 
possible. 

The_  relations  which  the  present  industrial  system^  has 
established  between  capitalist  and  labourer  have  been  detailed 
with  perfect  exactness  by  the  celebrated  mechanical  engineer 
and  manufacturer,  James  Nasmyth,  in  his  evidence  before  the 
committee  appointed  in  England  to  inquire  into  trades-unions. 
He  showed  that  it  was  for  the  advantage  of  trade  that  large 
niihiBers  of  workmen  should  be  seeking  employment,  because 
the  price  of  labour  is  thus  lowered  and  with  it  the  cost  of 
production.  He  added  that  he  had  frequently  increased 
his  profits  by  putting  apprentices  to  work  in  the  place  _of 
grown-up  workmen.  When  asked  what  he  supposed  had 
become  of  the  workmen  thus  dismissed,  and  their  families,  he 
replied,  "I  do  not  know;  I  can  only  leave  it  to  the  action  of 
those  natural  laws  which  govern  society."  In  speaklh"g  tlius, 
Nasmyth  formulated  the  purely  economic  doctrine.  Chris- 
tianity, however,  would  have  used  other  language,  [i^  m  iv^»t*l ' 
Thus,  while  perfecting  its  methods  and  extending  the  use 
of  machinery  and  division  of  labour,  the  large  system  of 
(\  manufacture  has  improved  the  condition  oF'th'e  lower  classes 
|i  by  giving  them  cheaper  goods,  but  at  the  same  time  the  gulf 
i   that  separates  capitalist  and  labourer  has  been  increased.     The 


INTRODUCTION.  Xxvil* 

handicraftsman,  the  small  contractor,  and  the  petty  manu- 
iacturer~are  ^eing  crushed  out  of  existence  by  the  great 
factories.  Those  who  have  been  called  the  lords  of  finance 
and  industry  have  become  the  masters  of  the  economic  world. 

There  is  also  another  cause  which  gives  rise  to  socialistic 
aspirations,  namely,  the  general  instability  of  position,  with  the 
anxieties  and  unmeasured  expectations  resulting  therefrom. 
This  instability  is  produced  by  civil  equality  and  free  com- 
merce. In  the  Middle  Ages  every  one  was  indeed  tied  to 
his  place,  but  at  the  same  time  his  future  was  assured  to  him. 
The  workman  was  protected  against  competition  by  the 
privileges  of  his  trade.  There  were  no  crises,  no  stoppages  of 
work.  Labour  had  a  certain  known  patronage  which  remained 
always  the  same.  The  position  of  the  shopkeeper  was  as 
secure  as  that  of  the  artisan,  generations  succeeding  each  other 
behind  the  same  counter  and  living  in  the  same  manner.  Th^ 
merchants  who  traded  with  foreign  countries,  such  as  Jacques- 
Coeur  in  France,  or  the 'great  Italian  bankers,  the  Peruzzi — 
first  the  friends  and  afterwards  the  unpaid  creditors  of 
Edward  III.  and  of  England — were  the  only  persons  engaged 
in  trade  who  had  greater  means  of  moving  about  and  enrichino- 
themselves.  Far  above  these,  the  feudal  nobility,  protected  by 
its  arms,  its  castles,  its  wealth,  and  its  caste  prejudices,  lived 
in  a  world  apart  and  unapproachable. 

Society  was  thus  completely  bound  up  in  the  complicated 
network  of  its  own  traditional  customs.  It  was  stationary 
indeed,  but  it  was  stable.  It_  was  a  system  of  classes,  one 
above  another,  similar  to  that  which  gave  to  ancient  Egypt  a 
basis  so  solid  and  a  duration  so  long,  and  which  left  there,  as 
well  as  here,  such  stupendous  monuments.  Our  mediceval  i 
town-halls  and  cathedrals,  in  their  indestructible  massive- 
ness,  recall  the  pyrarnids  and^TempIes  of  the  valley  of  the 
Nile.    "  '"' 

The   material   condition    of   men   is    incontestably   better  '^  *"' 
to-day.     Formerly  the  sufferings  of  individuals  were  at  times 
extreme,  because  the  violence  of  the  great  was  not  restrained 
by  the  guiding  and  all-powerful  arm  of  the  State,  nor  were 
commerce  and  science  at  hand  to  combat  famine  and  disease. 


t^ 


XXVlll 


INTRODUCTION. 


Society  was  continually  harassed  by  local  wars,  and  periodically 
decimated  by  dearth  and  the  plague;  but  in  ordinary  times 
men's  minds  were  calm,  and,  in  the  day  of  trial,  resigned.  All 
those  institutions  of  the  Middle  Ages,  which  were  at  once 
impediments  and  protections,  have  disappeared.  The  pro- 
clamation of  liberty  and  equality  for  all  has  levelled  the  ground 
upon  which  universal  competition  is  now  let  loose. 

This  general  competition  is  the  cause  of  all  progress,  the 
mainspring  of  our  industrial  activity,  the  source  of 'all  our 
power;  but  it  produces  also  incessant  agitation,  permanent 
unrest,  and  general  instability.  Nobody  contented  with  his 
lot,  nobody  certain  of  his  future.  He  who  is  rich  strives  to 
amass  more  wealth ;  he  who  lives  by  his  labour  trembles  lest 
he  lose  even  his  livelihood.  Every  one  is  free  to  create  his 
own  destiny ;  there  are  no  longer  close  trades  nor  classes ; 
equality  of  right  is  complete ;  but  inequality  of  fact  remains, 
( to  irritate  all  the  more  because  nothing  is  beyond  the  aspira- 
tion of  anybody.  There  are  more  deceptions  because  more 
hopes  are  awakened.  All  may  succeed,  but  all  do  not  succeed ; 
and  those  who  remain  below  envy  and  hate  those  who  have 
risen  above  them. 

Formerly  men  were  not  so  tormented  by  the  desire  to 
change  their  condition,  because  they  did  not  see  their  Avay  to 
do  it.  They  had  neither  the  ambition  to  rise,  nor  the  thirst 
for  riches,  because  all  this  was  beyond  their  reach.  Their 
destiny  being  settled  here  below,  it  was  towards  the  other"*" 
world  that  they  directed  their  hopes.  To-day  they  wish  to  be 
happy  in  this  world,  and  are  bent  on  destroying  everything 
which  offers  an  obstacle  to  the  realization  of  the  equal  distri- 
bution of  terrestrial  blessings. 

At  the  same  time,  men  nowadays  seek  after  wealth  with 
far  more  avidity  than  formerly,  because  it  forms  the  principal 
class  -  distinction  and  procures  far  more  enjoyment  than 
heretofore.  Wealth  supplies  home  comforts  as  well  as  the 
most  refined  luxury,  the  pleasure  of  travelling  over  the 
wide  world,  summers  spent  on  breezy  Alpine  heights, 
and  winters  by  the  enchanting  shores  of  the  Mediterranean  ; 
all  this   instead   of  the  monotonous  existence   of  the   feudal 


INTRODUCTION.  xxix 

baron  who  could  employ  his  surplus  resources  only  in 
maintaining  a  large  band  of  followers.  li>jday  the_  old ' 
friendly  feelings  between  master  and  servant,  landlord  and 
tenant,  have  disappeared.  Owner  and  capitalist  have  but  one 
object  in  view,  to  increase  their  revenue,  and  in  this  they 
only  conform  to  the  principles  of  orthodox  economy;  for  it 
is  evident  that  from  this '  eager  pursuit  of  money,  each  day 
becoming  more  universal,  springs  the  rapid  increase  of  the 
general  wealth.  On  the  other  hand,  tenants  and  working  men 
of  all  kinds  are  beginning  to  be  more  and  more  imbued  with 
the  truth  of  the  terrible  proverb,  "  Our  master  is  our  enemy."  1; 
The  class  struggle  which  lately  raged  in  Ireland  in  all  its  '■ 
horror  is  still  an  exception  ;  but  everywhere  in  Europe  similar 
sentiments  are  silently  stirring  the  rural  population.  Go  to 
Russia,  Germany,  Spain,  Italy — everywhere  you  will  hear  in  the, 
country  districts  words  of  suffering,  hatred,  and  revolt.  ^^ 

Landed  property  has  taken  a  new  character  without  pre- 1  /WL 
cedent  in  history.  Ili  primitive  times,  the  land,  being  the  " 
collective  property  of  the  tribe,  furnished  each  family  with  the 
means  of  living  by  its  own  work.  In  feudal  times,  considered 
theoretically  as  belonging  to  the  sovereign,  land  became  the 
reward  for  having  fulfilled  certain  functions,  and  it  implied  the 
rendering  of  certain  services,  amongst  others  those  of  bearing 

arms  and  of  dispensing  justice.     To-day,  freed  from  all  bonds  j  i    ,  ' 

and  duties,  it  has  become  a  mere  source  of  enjoyment  to  its    1  '" 
possessor.     The  classes  which  work  and  those  which  enjoy 
have  thus  become  more  and  more  strangers  to  each  other,    < 
and  with  us,  as  in  Rome,  stranger  (Jiostis)  has  conie  to  mean 
enemy. 

It  is  the  much-vexed  wages  question  which  in  our  times 
gives  to  Socialism  the  character  of  an  acute  inflammatory 
disease.  Formerly  wages  were  regulated  by  custom,  and 
often  even  by  official  tariff.  To-day  they  are  fixed  by  free 
competition,  that  is  to  say,  by  the  proportion  which  exists 
between  the  number  of  hands  and  the  quantity  of  capital  : 
seeking  employment.  Here  the  law  of  Ricardo,  that  "iron 
law"  as  the  German  Socialists  term  it,  in  accordance  with 
which  wages  tend  to  decrease  to  that  fatal  point  which  permits 

c 


XXX  INTRODUCTION. 

the  workman  merely  to  live  and  perpetuate  his  kind,  comes 
too  often  into  operation.  ,  As  soon  as  this  law,  formulated  by 
economists,  began  to  be  understood  by  working  men,  they 
said,  "  Since  our  wages  depend  upon  the  supply  of  our  labour, 
let  us  cease  to  work  until  we  get  higher  wages."  Hence  those 
strikes  and  coalitions  on  the  Continent,  in  America,  and 
especially  in  England,  which  almost  daily  interrupt  work  and 
interfere  with  every  trade.  Masters  and  men  are  in  a  state  of 
constant  warfare,  having  their  battles,  their  victories,  and  their 

;  defeats.  It  is  a  dark  and  bitter  civil  war,  wherein  he  wins  who 
can  longest  hold  out  without  earning  anything ;  a  struggle  far 
more  cruel  and  more  keen  than  that  decided  by  bullets  from 

•    a  barricade ;  one  where  all  the  furniture  is  pawned  or  sold, 

\    where  the  savings  of  better  times  are  gradually  devoured,  and 

i    where,  at  last,  famine  and  misery  besiege  the  home,  and  oblige 

'    the  wife  and  little  ones  to  cry  for  mercy. 

In  the  course  of  this  volume  it  will  be  seen  how  freedom 
of  trade  with  foreign  countries,  joined  to  free  competition  at 
home,  gave  rise  to  the  International  League  of  labourers.     As 

» >  a  consequence,  this  struggle  between  capital  and  labour  is 
extending  everywhere.  It  may  be  said  that  among  the 
industrial  nations,  who  now  form  one  vast  market,  twp  armies 
stand  facing  each  other;  on  the  one  side,  the  capitalists,  on 
the  other,  the  labourers. 

The  International,  no  longer  in  existence  as  a  regular 
organization,  still  finds  devoted  and  fanatical  apostles  to 
spread  its  doctrines.     It  is  due  to  their   propaganda,   either 

V\  secret  or  avowed,   that  Socialism   has   invaded  all  countries. 

1^  It  has  become  a  kmd  of  cosmopolitan  religion.  It  oversteps 
■^  frontiers,  it  obliterates  race-antipathies,  and,  above  all,  it 
eradicates  patriotism  and  tries  to  efface  the  very  idea  of  it. 
Fellow-countrymen  are  enemies  if  they  are  employers,  foreigners 
are  brothers  if  they  live  by  wages.  From  the  moment  that  the 
Republic  was  proclaimed  in  France,  the  German  Socialists 
declared  against  their  own  armies,  and  working  men  of 
London,  Pesth,  Vienna,  and  Berlin  applauded  the  struggles 
and  excused  the  crimes  of  the  Commune.  Economic  con- 
ditions being  nearly  the  same  in  all  countries,  Socialism  finds 


INTRODUCTION.  XXXI 

everywhere  the  same  grievances^-  the  same  aspirations,  and  j ', 
tlie"  sam¥"TnBammable  elements.  Social  ^^agitations^^^  unlike 
political  revolutions,  are  not  local.  They  are  universal,  like  '• 
religious  upheavals,  because  they  address  themselves  to  needs 
that  are  generally  felt,  and  to  that  covetousness  which  is  every- 
where dormant  in  the  human  mind.  Socialism,  no  less  than 
religion,  inspires  proselytism,  has  its  theorists  and  apostles, 
and  fills  the  hearts  of  its  followers  with  a  fanaticism  sometimes 
m3rstical,  sometimes  savage.  Let  us  not  be  deceived  by  the 
seeming  calm  which  reigns  to-day.  The  hatred  is  not 
extinguished  which  so  lately  set  fire  to  the  four  corners  of 
Paris,  crying,  "  Down  with  all  the  monuments  which  remind 
us  of  inequality." 

To  sum  up,  this  is  the  situation  created  in  modern  societies  j 
by  economic  progress.     It  has   freed  working   men  from  all  i 
bonds  and  has  rescued  them  from  the  grasp  of  the  guilds';  it 
has  increased  their  wages  and  their  welfare,  but  at  the  same        ^.^„^^ 
time  it  has  madeof  them  a  class  apart,  grouping  them    in       ii  «*i/i/k 
masses  in   vast   factories   and   in   particular   districts ;   it  has  «' 

created  in  them  new  wants,  and,  above  all,  it  has  awakened  ^■'*\r' 

in  them  boundless  aspirations,  and  has  exposed  them,  without 
protection   or  guarantee,   to  all   the  fluctuations  of  trade,   so 
often  upset  by  changes  of  processes,  by  commercial  crises,  and 
by  stagnation  of  business.     The  peasant  is  freed  from  forced 
labour^  is  no  longer  bound  to  the  soil,  and  his  condition  is 
often  better,  but  the  liability  to  having  his  rent  raised  is  for  ; 
him  a  source  of  constant  disquietude,  and  a  cause  of  enmity  | 
between  him  and  his  landlord.     The  real  peril  which  menaces 
our  democratic  societies  will  appear  when  the  country  labourers 
and  small  farmers  shall  have  learned  to  envy  the  lot  of  the 
rich  and  to  curse  their  own,   as  the  industrial  working  men  • 
have  already  done.     In  a  word,  herein  lies  the  danger  :  the 
power  of  choosing  legislators  and,  through  them,  of  making 
laws,  is  given  to  men  who  have  no  property  and  whose  wages 
are  inevitably  reduced  to  the  lowest  point.     Equality  of  rights  j 
is   proclaimed,   while   inequality   of  facts   continues    to  exist,  | 
causing  more  sufferings  and  becoming  all  the  more  irritating. 
De  Tocqueville,  the  most   clear-sighted   theoretical  writer 


xxxii  INTRODUCTION. 

on  Democracy,  in  his  study  of  it  in  America  did  not  perceive 
this  danger,  which,  in  truth,  did  not  then  exist ;  but  another 
French  writer,  M.  Dupont-White,  who  unites  profoundness  of 
thought  with  a  briUiant  and  original  style,  makes  the  danger 

\  i  clearly  appear  by  citing  a  letter  of  Macaulay's,  which  reads  like 

;  j  a  prophecy. 

In  this  letter,  dated  the  23rd  of  May,  1857,  and  addressed 
to  an"American,  Macaulay  says,  that  though  for  the  moment 
the  immense  tracts  of  unoccupied  land  in  America  may  serve 
to  stave  off  the  evil  day,  yet  the  time  would  come  when  the 
rapid  increase  of  population  would  produce  the  same  economic 
conditions  there  as  here,  the  same  crises,  stoppages  of  work, 
lowering  of  wages,  and  strikes,  and  that  then  the  democratic 
institutions  of  America  would  be  put  to  the  test.  Wliat  will 
the  issue  be  ?  "  It  is  quite  plain,"  he  says,  "  that  your  Govern- 
ment will  never  be  able  to  restrain  a  distressed  and  discontented 
majority,  for  with  you  the  majority  is  the  Government,  and  has 
the  rich,  who  are  always  a  minority,  absolutely  at  its  mercy." 
And  then  he  adds  : — 

"The  day  will  come  when,  in  the  State  of  New  York,  a  multitude  of 
people,  not  one  of  whom  has  had  more  than  half  a  breakfast,  or  expects 
to  have  more  than  half  a  dinner,  will  choose  a  Legislature.  Is  it, possible 
to  doubt  what  sort  of  Legislature  will  be  chosen  ?  On  one  side  is  a  states- 
man preaching  patience,  respect  for  vested  rights,  strict  observance  of 
public  faith  ;  on  the  other  is  a  demagogue  ranting  about  the  tyranny  of 
capitalists  and  usurers,  and  asking  why  anybody  should  be  permitted  to 
drink  champagne  and  to  ride  in  a  carriage,  while  thousands  of  honest  folks 
are  in  want  of  necessaries.  Which  of  the  two  candidates  is  likely  to  be 
preferred  by  the  working  man  who  hears  his  children  crying  for  more 
bread  ?  I  seriously  apprehend  that  you  will,  in  some  such  season  of 
adversity  as  I  have  described,  do  things  which  will  prevent  prosperity  from 
returning.  Either  some  Ccesar  or  Napoleon  will  seize  the  reins  of  Govern- 
ment with  a  strong  hand,  or  your  Republic  will  be  as  fearfully  plundered 
and  laid  waste  by  barbarians  in  the  twentieth  century  as  the  Roman 
Empire  was  in  the  fifth  ;  with  this  difference — that  the  Huns  and  Vandals 
who  ravaged  the  Roman  Empire  came  from  without,  and  that  your  Huns 
and  Vandals  will  have  been  engendered  within  your  own  country  and  by 
your  own  institutions." 

Macaulay  wrote  this  twenty-seven  years  ago.  We  must  not 
forget  that  the  Greek  democracies  passed  through  similar  trials 
and  perished. 


'^ 


INTRODUCTION.  xxxiii 

The  right  of  inquiry  which  questions  and  doubts  e\^erythin^, 
impatience  or  contempt  of  all  authority,  and  the  shattering  of 
alT religious  beUefs,  have  combined  to  embitter  the  social  conflict, 
and  to  destroy  everything  that  could  moderate  it.     Broken  by 
the  oppression  of  ages,  labourers  formerly  considered  themselves 
born  to  maintain  the  great  by  the  fruits  of  their  labour.     "That  ,• 
they  should  be  oppressed  by  the  strongest,  the  richest,  the  { 
cleverest,  or  the  most  influential,  they  considered  as  inevitable  i  i 
as  that  they  should  suifer  from  rain  and  hail."  *     "  Belief  and  1 1 
obedience  were  an  inheritance,"  says  Taine ;    "  a  man  was  a 
Christian  and  a  subject,  because  he  was  so  born.    The  Revolu- 
tion came,  saying.  Arise  !  you  are  the  equals  of  your  masters. 
Quickly    follows    the     question.    Wherefore    this     iniquitous 
division  :   opulence  to  the  idle,  and  destitution  to  the  workers  ? 

Christianity,  which  had  introduced  into  the  West  ideas  of : 
equality  and  fraternity,  at  the  same  time  enjoined  patience  an3  i  -^> 
submission,  saying  to  the  oppressed.  This  life  is  only  a  period 
of  probation ;  obey  those  in  power ;  endure  all  privations  with- 
out murmuring,  for  they  will  be  reckoned  to  you  above,  where 
lies  your  real  treasure.     Iniquity  triumphs  on  this  earthj   but     J  ,, 
the  kingdom  of  Heaven  is  the^  inheritance  of  those  cast  out       *f* 
here  below.     Thus   the   Gospel,  which,  by  arousing  in  all  a 
thirst  for  justice,  sowed  the  seed  for  social  revolution,  at  the 
same  time  averted  the  explosion,  by  opening  a  prospect  for  the 
oppressed  of  endless  felicity  beyond  the  tomb.    To-day,  accord- '  > 
ing  as  faith  dies  away,  the  people,  ceasing  to  believe  in  these!  |  Air. 
heavenly  compensations,  demand  their  share  of  happiness  now.  [  j     ''■ 
Not  in  Paradise,  but  in  their  present  life  do  they  require  the' 
realization  of  the   promises  of  the  Gospel.      If  they  do  not 
receive  what  they  think  their  due,  or  if  they  are  wretched,  they 
can  no  longer  console  themselves  by  the  reflection  that  their 
sufferings,  accepted  with  resignation,  will  be  rewarded  with  an 
hundredfold  recompense.     Were  you  to  demonstrate  to  them 
that  the  justice  they  dream  of  is  a  chimera,  and  that  the  actual 
distribution  of  wealth  is  determined  by  inexorable  natural  laws^ 
then,  utterly  desperate,  they  would   exclaim   with  the  Mille-  i 
narians,  "  Perish  a  society  founded  on  iniquity,  so  that  from  \ 
*  Montigny,  Memoires  de  Mirabeau. 


\l 


^ 


xxxiv  INTRODUCTION. 

its  ruins  may  arise  a  new  world."  Thus  would  be  propagated 
the  Nihilists' creed.  If  those  who  foment  violent  revolutions 
I  try  to  extirpate  every  religious  sentiment,  it  is  because  they  know 
that  the  best  way  of  arousing  a  people  is  to  take  from  them  the 
hope  of  finding  in  another  world  the  justice  denied  to  them  on 
earth. 

Itjs  not  thatthe  workers  are  worse  off  than  formerly.  But, 
on  the  one  hand,  as  capital  constantly  accumulates  under  the 
form  of  stocks,  bonds,  or  interest,  paid  by  municipality  or  state, 
the  number  of  idle  people  rapidly  increases,  while,  on  the  other 
hand,  it  is  precisely  as  men  leave  the  extremest  misery  behin_d 
them  that  they  become  most  clamorous.  As  De  Tocqueville 
so  admirably  expresses  it,  nations  revolt,  not  when  they  are  most 
oppressed,  but,  on  the  contrary,  when  the  yoke  which  weighed 
them  down  begins  to  grow  lighter.  In  speaking  of  the  end  of 
the  eighteenth  century,  he  says,  "According  as  prosperity 
began  to  dawn  in  France,  men's  minds  appeared  to  become 
more  unquiet  and  disturbed ;  public  discontent  was  sharpened ; 
hatred  of  all  ancient  institutions  went  on  increasing,  until  the 
nation  was  visibly  on  the  verge  of  a  revolution.  One  might 
almost  say  that  the  French  found  their  condition  all  the  more 
intolerable  according  as  it  became  better.  Such  an  opinion 
might  cause  astonishment  were  it  not  that  history  is  filled  with 
similar  spectacles."  *  Is  not  this  an  accurate  picture  of  what  is 
going  on  under  our  own  eyes  ? 

It  was  at  qne_time  imagined^  that  the  means  of  combating 
Socialism  would  be  found  in  the  teachings  of  Political  Economy ; 
but,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  precisely  this  science  which  has 
furnished  the  Socialists  of  to-day  with  their  most  redoubtable 
weapons.  Instead  of  rejecting  the  conclusions  of  Economists, 
as'  was  done  by  their  predecessors,  they  accept  them  without 
reserve  and  make  use  of  them  to  demonstrate  that  present 
social  conditions  are  at  variance  with  the  principles  of  justice 
and  right.  Economists  have  proved  that  all  value  and  all 
property  are  Serived'Trom  labour ;  it  clearly  follows,  say  the 
Socialists,  tliat  wealth  should  belong  to  those  who  by  their 
labour  created  it,  and  that  the  entire  value,  that  is  to  say  the 

*  VAncien  Rigime,  ch.  xvi. 


INTRODUCTION.  XXXV 

entire  produce,  should  be  the  reward  of  him  who  brought  it  into 
existence.  Ricardo,  Mill,  and  all  the  representatives  of  the 
orthodox  science,  show  that,  under  the  sway  of  free  competition, 
in  a  country  where  wealth  and  population  are  both  on  the 
increas~e7'the  rent  of  the  owner  ^rnust  continually  augment, 
while  the  wages  of  the  labourer  are  reduced  to  the  lowest 
possible  point.  Socialists  ask  if  such  a  partition_  of  wealth,; 
resulting  from  the  pretended  natural  laws  of  society,  is  con- 
formable to  the  principles  of  equitable  distribution.  It  is 
therefore  Political  Economy  which  has  furnished  a  scientific 
basis  to  Socialism,-  en^tbling  it  to  leave  the  region  of  com- 
munistic aspirations  and  Otopian  dreams. 

Another  thing  that  largely  contributes  to^th^e  spread  of  { 
Socialism  IsthaTiFTs  "gradually  gaining  ground  amongst  the 
upper  and  more  educated  classes.  Many  novels,  much  poetry, 
along  with  books,  lectures,  and  newspapers,  are  its  unconscious 
organs,  although  their  authors  are  by  no  means  Socialists.  I 
Among  fhdse  "favoured  by  the  present  order  of  things,  the 
number  who  maintain  that  "  natural  law"  rules  all  for  the  best  in 
the  best  of  all  possible  worlds  is  daily  diminishing.  Nearly  all 
now  admit  that  "  something  should  be  done  "  for  the  labouring 
classes,  and  those  who  would  say  with  Gambetta  that  there 
is  no  social  question,  are  very  few.  In  England,  Germany,  or 
Italy  mark  the  words  uttered  both  in  private  and  on  solemn 
public  occasions  alike  by  sovereigns,  ministers,  and  party 
leaders ;  they  are  the  first  to  commend  the  social  question  to 
the  study  of  legislators.  The  King  of  Italy  and  Prince  Bismarck_  ,  j  ^, , 
at  almost  the  same  moment  proclaimed  it  as  the  first  duty  of  v 
the  crown,  to  ameliorate  the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes. 
It  is,  in  fact,  difficult  to  maintain  that  he  who  uses  the  spade 
m  the  country  or  the  tool  in  a  factory  receives  a  sufficient 
reward.  In  olden  times  the  privileged  classes  could  enjoy  ' 
their  wealth  without  remorse,  and  calmly  contemplate  existing 
inequality,  because  with  Aristode  they  said,  "  There  are  in  the 
human  species  individuals  as  inferior  to  others  as  the  body 
is  to  the  soul,  or  as  animals  are  to  men.  x^dapted  for  corporeal 
labour  only,  they  are  incapable  of  a  higher  occupation.  Destined 
by  nature  to  slavery,  there  is  nothing  better  for  them  to  do  than  - 


XXXVl  INTRODUCTION. 

to  obey."*  In  the  Middle  Ages,  the  teachings  of  Christianity- 
being  still  misunderstood,  the  feudal  lord  saw  in  the  serf  a 
beast  of  burden  divinely  predestined  to  work  for  him.  Now 
that  the  principle  of  the  equality  of  all  men  according  to  nature 
and  right  has  penetrated  men's  hearts  and  minds,  we  must  shut 
ourselves  up  in  inhuman  egoism  or  profound  ignorance,  if  we 
would  remain  unmoved  by  the  claims  of  the  labouring  classes. 

The  great  difference  between  the  actual  position  of  affairs 
and  anything  history  shows  us,  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  diffusion 
■  of  Socialism  is  enormously  favoured  by  the  press  and  by  schools. 
Education  offered  to  all,  even  forced  upon  them,  schools  every- 
i  where  open,  and  cheap  books,  pamphlets,  and  newspapers 
I  spread  throughout  the  country  ideas  of  radical  reform.  In  the 
Middle  Ages  the  revolts  of  the  peasants  against  oppression 
were  merely  local  and  passing  events ;  and  the  same  may  be 
said  of  those  of  the  sixteenth  century.  Once  they  were 
crushed,  these  aspirations  towards  equality  disappeared  as 
though  drowned  in  blood.  To-day,  however,  this  is  no  longer 
the  case.  The  energetic  repression  of  the  Revolution  of  June, 
1848,  and  of  the  Commune  of  187 1,  served  only  to  spread  far 
and  wide  the  principles  sought  to  be  extinguished,  and  to 
make  them  sink  deeper  into  the  hearts  of  the  working  classes. 
Socialists_qf_all  countries  celebrate  the  i8th  of  March,  the 
anniversary  of  the  proclamation  of  the  Commune.  If  Socialism 
is  to  be  exterminated,  it  must  be  attacked  in  its  origin  and 
in  its  methods  of  diffusion.  It  will  be  necessary  to  proscribe 
Christianity,  burn  the  Bible,  teach  with  the  ancient  philosophers 
that  natural  inequality  justifies  slavery;  above  all,  no  more 
Vv5^  j  I  primary  education  and  no  newspapers.  If  the  existing  in- 
equality of  conditions  is  permanent  and  necessary,  then  to 
spread  the  Gospel,  to  open  a  school,  to  establish  a  printing 
press,  and  to  extend  the  suffrage,  are  in  so  many  ways  to  attack 
the  social  order. 

The   rivalry,  the  wars,  and   the  enormous  armies  of  our 

-,     /|  continental  states  hasten  the  progress  of  that  very  Socialism 

I  which  tliey  were  specially  intended  to  combat ;  and  this  they 

ji  do  in  two  ways.     In  the  first  place,  they  maintain  and  increase 

.    *  Polit.  i.  3. 


INTRODUCTION.  XXXVH 

inequality  both  by  devouring  a  large  portion  of  the  produce 
which  might  go  to  improve  the  lot  of  the  labourers,  and  by 
enabling  an  increasing  number  of  independent  persons  to  live 
on  the  interest  of  loans  necessitated  by  wars  and  armaments.. 
In  the  second  place,  forced  service  draws  into  the  large  towns,  j; 
always  more  or  less  active  centres  of  socialistic  ideas,  all  thai' 
young  men  from  the  country  districts,  and  through  them  these 'j 
ideas  penetrate  into  the  hamlets  where  lately  the  feelings  and 
beliefs  of  the  past  were  preserved  intact.     I  do  not  believe 
that,  up  to  the  present,  the  majority  of  soldiers  have  anywhere 
been  gained  over  to  Socialism ;  far  from  it ;  bjut  evidently  here 
lies  the  great  danger  for  the  existing  order  of  things,  which 
depends,  after  all,  upon  the  support  of  bayonets.     If  this  last 
rampart  were  carried,   frightful  convulsions  would   inevitably 
ensue. 

Let  us  now  endeavour  to  separate  what  is  true  in  Socialism 
from  what  is  false. 

The  foundation  of  all  socialistic  claims  is  the  assertion  that 
the  effect  of  the  present  social  system  is  to  increase  inequality, 
the  condition  of  the  labourers  becoming  daily  worse,  while  the 
wealth  of  the  capitalists  and  landowners  is  always  augmenting. 
This  assertion  is  only  in  part  true.     It  is,  no  doubt,  incontest- 
able that  capital  is  constantly  increasing  in  all  industrial  com- 
munities in  proportion  to  their  progress,  and  that  the  number 
of  those  living  upon  their  private  incomes  is  also  increasing, 
albeit  the  rate  of  interest  as  well  as  of  profits  tends  to  decrease. 
Since    the   improved    processes   of    modern    production   are 
executed  more  and  more  by  means  of  machinery  and  fixed 
capital  of  every  kind,  and  as  the  holders  of  this  capital  draw  ■ 
an  income  from  it,  it  follows  that  the  sum  total  of  interest  and 
profits  obtained  by  the  upper  classes  is  rapidly  increasing.     To 
be  convinced  of  this  it  is  enough  to  glance  at  the  enormous 
spread  of  comfort  and  luxury  in  all  countries  among  the  well- 
to-do  classes.     But  it  is  not  correct  to  say  that  the  condition  | 
of  the   labourers  gets  worse.     They   have   profited   to   some] 
extent  by  the  cheapness  of  manufactured  goods.     Except  in 
the  great  towns  they  are  better  lodged.     They  are  everywhere 
better  clad,  they  have  more  pieces  of  furniture  of  every  kind, 


XXXVIll  INTRODUCTION. 

and  their  food  is  more  varied.  Their  diet  has,  however, 
become  almost  everywhere  too  exclusively  vegetarian,  because, 
the  increase  of  animals  fit  for  food  not  having  kept  pace  with 
the  increase  of  the  population,  meat  has  become  too  dear. 
We  can  no  longer  say  of  our  working  classes  as  Caesar  said 
of  the  Germans,  "  Their  food  mainly  consists  of  milk,  cheese, 
and  meat."  *  What  is,  unfortunately,  well  founded  among  the 
f '  grievances  set  forth  by  the  Socialists,  is  that  the  condition  of 

11  the  labourers  has  not  improved  in  proportion  to  the  inT;rease 
of  production,  that  the  share  obtained  by  them  in  the  unex- 
ampled development  of  wealth  during  this  century  is  too  small. 
In  support  of  this  assertion  I  shall  cite  only  three  witnesses, 
whose  evidence  is  unimpeachable  and  who  belong  to  the 
country  where  capital  has-  increased  most  rapidly.  Mr.  Glad- 
stone said  in  the  House  of  Commons  on  the  13th  February, 
1843,  '•'  Itjs  one  of  the  most  melancholy  features  in  the  social 
state  of  our  country  that  a  constant  accumulation  of  wealth  in 
the  upper  classes,  and  an  increase  of  the  luxuriousness  of  their 
1  habits  and  of  their  means  of  enjoyment"  should  be  accom- 
panied by  "a  decrease  in  the  consuming  powers  of  the  people, 
and  an  increase  of  the  pressure  of  privation  and  distress " 
among  the  poorer  classes.  Professor  Fawcett  uses  language 
to  the  same  effect :  "  Production  has  been  stimulated  beyond 
the  expectations  of  the  most  sanguine,  and  supplies  of  food 
have  been  obtained  from  even  the  most  distant  countries  in 
much  greater  quantities  than  could  have  been  anticipated ; 
still,  however,  so  far  as  the  labourer  is  concerned,  the  age  of 
golden  plenty  seems  as  remote  as  ever,  and  in_the  humble 
homes  of  the  poor  a  not  less  constant  war  has  to  be  waged 

■   against   penury  and  want.     From   the   bitter  disappointment 

f        thus  engendered  there  has  riot  unnaturally  arisen  a  feeling  of 

deep  distrust  of  the  fundamental  principles  on  which  society 

■-  is  based."  f  Professor  Cairnes  speaks  even  more  forcibly  than 
Mr.  Fawcett :  "  The  conclusion  to  which  I  am  brought  is 
this — that,  unequal  as  is  the  distribution  of  wealth  already  in 

*  De  Bel.  Gal.  vi.  22. 

t  "Essays  and  Lectures  on  Social  and  Political   Subjects,"  by  Henry 
and  Millicent  G.  Fawcett  (1872),  p.  5. 


INTRODUCTION.  XXXIX 

this  country,  the  tendency  of  industrial  progress,  on  the  sup- 
position that  the  present  separation  between  individual  classes 
is  maintained,  is  toward  an  inequality  greater  still."  * 

When,  viewing  from  a  distance  and  without  bias  the  dis- 
tribution of  the  good  things  of  this  world,  one  sees,  on  the  one  ,. 
side,  the  workers  reduced  to  the  bare  necessaries  of  irfe^=Tiot| 
obtaining  even  them  at  the  least  crisis— and,  on  the  other,  tlie' 
idle'and  independent  classes,  in  increasing  numbers,  enjoying^, 
more  and  more  refined  comfort,  it  is  impossible  to  pronounce., 
this  state  of  things  conformable  to  justice,  and  we  are  forced  to 
exclaiih  with  Bossuet,   "The  murmurs  of  the  poor  are  just. 
Wherefore,  O  Lord,  this  inequality  of  conditions  ?  "     Doubtless 
it  inay  be  answered  that  it  has  always  been  so,  and  cannot  be 
otherwise  ;  but  this  argument  satisfies  those  only  whose  privileges 
are  thus  confirmed. 

Socialism  demands  that  the  labourer  should  reap  the  whole  | , 
fruits  of  his  labour,  and  nothing  seems  more  just.  Still,  if  the  l[ 
produce  is  obtained  with  the  help  of  two  other  factors,  land  and 
capital,  and  if  these  do  not  belong  to  the  labourer,  he  cannot 
retain  the  entire  product.  Each  factor  must  be  rewarded, 
otherwise  it  will  refuse  its  aid.  The  solution  consists  in  uniting 
the  three  factors  in  the  same  person. 

Socialism  says,  "  At  present,  labour  is  subordinate  to 
capital;  the  contrary  should  be  the  case;  capital  should, 
properly,  be  subordinate  to  labour."  That  is,  no  doubt, 
desirable;  but  in  order  that  it  may  be  so,  the  requisites  of 
production  must  belong  to  him  who  works,  the  soil  to  the 
cultivator,  the  tool  or  the  machine  to  the  artisan.  That  was 
the  case  formerly  to  a  great  extent ;  but  how  to  attain  it  now, 
under  the  system  of  production  on  a  large  scale — this  is  the 
problem  to  be  solved. 

Socialism  demands  that  wealth  shall  no  longer  be  the  privi- 
lege of  idleness,  and  that  he  that  sows  not  shall  not  reap. 
This  is  exactly  what  St.  Paul  so  emphatically  says:   Qui  non  jj 
laborat  nee  manducet :  "If  any  will  not  work,  neither  shall  he  |j 
eat."     Man,  like  all  living  beings,  has  wants  and  certain  means  B 
of  Satisfying  them.     If  he  satisfies  his  wants  without  using  the 
*  "  Leading  Principles  of  Political  Economy  "  (1874),  p.  340. 


xl  INTRODUCTION. 

appropriate  means,  itjcan  only  be  by  contravening  natural  law, 
and  owing  to  certain  artificial  laws,  which  allow  some  to  live  at 
/  the  expense  of  others.     This  appears  evident ;  but  these  facts 
'  are   the  consequence   of   private   property  and   the   right   of 
1,  inheritance,  and,  until  better  are  found,  these  institutions  are 
''  indispensable   for  stimulating   industry.     What   must   be  dis- 
covered is  how  to  bring  it  about  that,  according  to  the  desire 
of  St.  Paul,  and  conformably  to  right  and  the  ordinary  course 
of  nature,  the  well-being  of  every  individual  may  be  in  direct 
ratio  to  his  activity,  and  in  inverse  ratio  to  his  idleness. 

Machinery,    say    the    Socialists,    should    emancipate    the 

labourer,   and   shorten   his   hours  of  work.     The  contrary  is 

nearer  the  fact.     Machines  enrich  those  who  own  them,  iDut 

render  harder  and  more  enslaving  the  task  of  those  whom  they 

employ.     The  larger  the  capital  sunk  in  the  modern  factory, 

f  the  more  urgent  it  is  that  there  should  be  no  stoppage  of  work, 

K  for,  when  work  stops,   interest  is  eaten  up.     Formerly  night 

'  I  brought  sleep  to  all,  and  Sunday  brought  rest.     Now,  on  the 

railway,  on  the  steamer,  in  the  mine,  the  factory,  or  the  office, 

'  work  admits  of  hardly  any  truce  or  intermission.    In  the  words 

of  Hamlet : 

"  What  might  be  toward,  that  this  sweaty  haste 
Doth  make  the  night  joint-labourer  with  the  day  ?  " 

Machinery  will  not  fulfil  its  promises,  nor  bring  men  more 
leisure,  until  it  belongs  to  the  workers  who  set  it  in  motion. 
On  this  point  Socialists  may  quote  the  opinion  of  J.  S.  Mill, 
who  says  :  "  It  is  questionable  if  all  the  mechanical  inventions 
yet  made  have  lightened  the  day's  toil  of  any  human  being."' 

Socialists  maintain  that  the  means  of  production  are  already 
great  enough  to  furnish  all  men  with  a  sufficient  competency, 
if  only  the  produce  were  more  evenly  divided ;  and  indeed,  if 
the  number  of  things  are  reckoned  up  which  are  either  useless 
or  superfluous,  or  even  harmful,  but  which  monopolize  so  large 
a  portion  of  the  working  hours,  it  may  well  be  thought  that 
were  those  hours  exclusively  employed  in  the  creation  of  useful 
things,  there  would  be  enough  to  satisfy  largely  the  needs  of 
all.    Inequality  gives  rise  to  superfluity  and  luxury  which  divert 


INTRODUCTION.  xH 


capital  andjabour  from  the  production  of  necessaries ;  hence 
the  destitution  of  the  masses.  "  Were  there  no  TiixilryT^said 
Rousseau,  "there  would  be  no  poor."  "The  fact  that  many 
men  are  occupied  in  making  clothes  for  one  individual,  is  the 
cause  of  there  being  many  people  without  clothes."  * 

Supported  by  the  rent  theory  as  set  forth  by  economic 
science,  Socialists  reproach  the  actual  system  with  having 
poured  into  the  hands  of  the  landowners  all  the  advantage 
accruing  from  social  improvement,  in  violation  of  the  principle, 
generally  admitted,  that  labour  is  the  source  of  property.  Here, 
again,  they  could  cite  the  opinion  of  J.  S.  Mill,  for  he  asks 
that  every  increase  of  rent  which  does  not  result  from'  the 
efforts  of  the  owner — the  unearned  increment,  as  he  calls  it — I 
should  be  handed  over  to  the  State.  ' 

Of  all  the  economical  phenomena  of  the  present  social 
order,  the  one  most  vehemently  attacked  by  Socialists  is  free ; 
competition.     This,  they  say,  reduces  the  pay  of  the  workman  • 
to  thfe  lowest  point,   lowers  the  quality  of  the  articles  sold,  { 
creates  hostile  interests,  and  does  not  even  assure  the  promised  j; 
compensation  of  cheapness ;  for  the  large  manufactories  ruin 
the  small  ones,  and  thus  acquire  a  monopoly  of  which  they 
take  advantage  to  raise  the  prices. 

Mill  admits  that  while  competition  is  the  best  security  for  /f 
cheapness,  if  is  by  no   means  a  guarantee  of  good  quality.   ; 
But  he  proves  clearly  that  if  at  times  competition  has  the  effect ' 
of  lowering  wages  when  the  offer  of  hands  is  excessive,  it  also 
results  in  raising  wages  when  capital  increases  faster  than  the 
population,  and  at  all  times  it  has  the  incontestable  advantage  ; 
of  reducing  the  price  of  manufactured  articles^  arid^  cbnse- 1  ?: 
quently,  as  these  are  bought  out  of  wages,  it  does,  in  effect,  || 
increase    the  remuneration  of  the   labourer.      If  there  were  -* 
no  competition,  the  very  thing  for  which  Socialists  like  Marx 
upbraid  machines  would  happen,  namely,  the  whole  benefit 
they  confer  would  revert   exclusively  to  their  owners,  while 
now,  thanks  to  competition,  the  public  profit  by  the  cheapness 
of  goods.     Competition  is  merely  liberty  on  economic  soil. 
It   is   competition   that    brings   into   play  the  most   powerful 

*  Montesquieu,  Esp.  des  Lois,  vii.  6. 


h^ 


xlii  INTRODUCTION. 

and  only  really  efificacious  incentive  to  all  productive  activity, 
alI~good  economic  administration,  and,  above  all,  all  improve- 
ment. No  doubt  laws  and  regulations  might  modify  the 
conditions  under  which  competition  acts,  so  as  to  place  com- 
petitors more  upon  an  equality,  and  to  effect  that,  each  man 
possessing  the  requisites  of  production,  no  one  should  be 
obliged  to  accept  insufficient  wages  through  fear  of  starvation. 
True  freedom  of  contract  in  that  case  existing,  competition, 
which  is  the  indispensable  mainspring  of  the  economic  world, 
would  be  freed  from  the  greater  part  of  the  disastrous  effects 
now  laid  to  its  charge. 

Ranke,  the  historian,  has  shown  how  Protestantism,  by  its 
very  attacks  upon  the  Papacy,  provoked  a  reform  in  the  bosom 
of  the  Romish  Church  whereby  new  life  was  infused  into  her. 
In  the  same  way,  the  wisest  Economists  of  our  time  have  recog- 
nized that  the  exaggerated,  but  often  well  founded,  criticisms 
passed  upon  our  social  system  by  Socialists,  have  been  the 
means  of  producing  undoubted  progress  in  Political  Economy. 
Thus  Economists  used  to  affirm  that  our  social  organization 
/i  was  the  result  of  "natural  laws,"  and  itself  constituted  "the 
If  natural  order  of  things."     It  followed,  as  Cairnes  observes,  that 
the  well-to-do  classes  gathered  from  the  writings  of  the  Econo- 
mists the  comfortable  conviction  that  the  existing  world  was 
not  far  off  from  perfection,  and  were  thus  led  to  reject  without 
examination  any  idea  of  a  better  organization  as  chimerical. 
Nowadays   most    Economists   recognize   that  everything   con- 
[  cerning  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  the  result  of  laws  and 
!  customs  which  have  varied  at  different  times,  and  that,  con- 
':  sequently,  a  more  strict  application  of  justice  might  introduce 
;  a  great  improvement.     Formerly  Economists  occupied  them- 
selves principally  with  the  increase  of  production ,  while  they 
merely  described  the  distribution  of  wealth  without  examining 
if  it  was  conformable  to  justice,  and  studied  labour  merely  as 
the  natural  agent  of  production.     To-day  we  recognize  more 
and  more  that  the  question  which  overshadows  all  others  is 
that  of  distribution,  that  every  proble  m  must  be  considered,  ~ 
especially  in  its  moral  and  juridical    aspect,  and  that  the  just 
reward  of  the  workman  is  what  is  most  important  when  con- 


INTRODUCTION.  xliii 

sidering  labour.  Professor  Schoenberg,  one  of  the  most  dis- 
tinguished Economists  of  Germany,  says,  "Sociahsm  has 
obhged  Political  Economy  to  recognize  that  it  is  not  merely 
the  natural  science  of  human  egoism,  but  that  it  should  formu- 
late a  system  of  moral  administration  {EthiscJie  Wirthschqft) 
for  the  mterests  of  society. 

The   fundamental  error   of  most    Socialists  is  not   taking 
sufificient"  account  of  the  fact  that  individual  interest  is   the 
indispensable  incentive   to  labour   and   economy.     It  is  true 
that  minds  purified  by  the  elevated  principles  of  religion  or 
philosophy   act   upon   sentiments   of    charity,    devotion,    and 
honour;  but  for  the  regular  production  of  wealth  the  stimulus  i!%''5 
of  personal  interest  and"responsibility  is  needed.     Hence  a  j; 
communistic  regime  will  always  be  an  exception.     But,  on  the  1 
contrary,   an   organization   realizing   this   desideratum   of    all 
Socialists,  "to  the  labourer  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  produce 
of  his  labour,"  would  ensure  to  economic  activity  the  most 
powerful  stimulant  and  the  most  equitable  reward. 

Another  error  of  the  Socialists,  and  one  far  more  disastrous 
to  their  cause,  is  the  belief  that  a  successful  insurrection  would 
lead  to  a  new  social  organization  being  established  by  law. 
No  doubt  a  revolutionary  assembly  can   easily  destroy  many 
things,   confiscate  property,  cut  off  heads,  or  absorb  all  rent 
under  the  form  of  a  land  tax.     But  to  introduce  a  collective 
mode  of  carrying  on  industry,  or  to  make  a  co-operative  enter- 
prise succeed,  would  be  beyond  its  capabilities,  because  such 
reforms,  as  J.  S.  Mill  so  admirably  points  out  in  his  "  Chapters 
on  Socialism,"  presuppose  among  workmen  a  higher  degree  of  ji 
moral  and  mental  culture  than  they  now  possess,  and  which  j' 
they^  can  acquire   only  by  degrees.     The   impotence   in   the  ;] 
matter  of  economic  reforms  of  even  successful  Socialist  revolu-  , . 
tions,  was  clearly  demonstrated  by  the  absolute  sterility,  in  this 
respect,  of  the  Paris  Commune  of  1871,  and  of  the  Spanish 
Communes  of  Carthagena  and  Seville  of  1873. 

If  the  progress  of  humanity  is  not  a  chimera,  if  it  is,  like 
the  progress  of  democracy  according  to  De  Tocqueville,  "  the 
fact  the  most  continuous,  the  oldest,  and  the  most  permanent 
in  history,"  it  follows  that  greater  equality  must  eventually  be 


wyuK 


xliv  INTRODUCTION. 

established  among  men ;  but  social  transformations  are  not__to 
be  accomplished  by  violence.  Attempts  at  assassination  and 
insurrections  can  have  but  one  result :  that  of  provoking  a 
desperate  repression,  and  restoring  despotism.  What  an 
amount  of  harm  have  the  German  regicides,  Hoedel  and 
Nobiling,  not  done  to  the  cause  of  which  they  professed  them- 
selves the  champions  !  If  Socialists  would  set  forth  their  ideas 
persistently  but  moderately,  using  those  powerful  arguments 
which  economic  science  has  placed  in  their  hands,  as  was  done 
by  J.  S.  Mill,  and  the  former  Austrian  mirjister,  Albert 
Schaefifle,  the  governing  classes  would  listen  to  them,  for  they 
cannot  divest  themselves  of  the  sentiments  of  even-handed 
justice  planted  in  their  hearts  by  the  Gospel.     The  Irish  Land 

i'  Laws  wrested  by  Mr.  Gladstone  even  from  the  House  of  Lords, 
show  what  decisive  victories  Socialism  may  obtain  by  peaceable 
means.  It  is  probable  that  it  may  be  gradually  introduced 
into  our  laws  by  the  increasing  influence  of  what  we  call  State 
Socialism.     Its  weakness  results  from  the  fact  that,  being  chiefly 

j  confined  to  the  labouring  classes,  it  seldom  finds  exponents 
arnofig  enlightened  men  such  as  Lassalle  and  Marx  undoubtedly 

i  were.  If,  as  formerly  in  Israel,  there  should  arise  prophets 
burning  with  a  righteous  thirst  for  justice,  Christian  Socialism, 
taking  possession  of  men's  minds,  may  bring  about  profound 
changes  in  the  economic  world.  But  the  enduring  triumph_of 
a  violent  Socialist  revolution  is  impossible.  Nevertheless,  ^as 
Nihilism,  like  burning  lava,  seethes  throughout  the  underground 
strata  of  society,  and  there  keeps  up  a  sort  of  diabolic  destroy- 
ing rage,  it  is  possible  that  in  some  crisis,  when  authority  is 
powerless  and  repressive  force  paralyzed,  the  predictions  of 
the  poet  Hegesippe  Moreau  and  M.  Maxime  du  Camp  may 
be  realized,  and  we  may  see  our  capitals  ravaged  by  dynamite 
and  petroleum  in  a  more  ruthless  and  a  more  systematic  manner 
than  even  that  which  Paris  experienced  at  the  hands  of  the 
Commune. 

'i  "     :^  i  ,  '   J  »  "   f , 

.    1/'  , /,  ,._      _■  '  ■■.   ri..,l  nr -ivt '..-    V 


\jiji,Ji  hA^^J^.' 


THE   SOCIALISM    OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER   I. 

CONTEMPORARY   SOCIALISM    IN    GERMANY. 

PRINCE  BISMARCK  said  one  day,  in  one  of  his  strange 
but  vigorous  speeches  to  the  ParUament  of  the  Empire, 
that  Germany  had  two  foes  to  vanquish :  Ultramontanism  and 
Sociahsm,  or,  as  he  sometimes  expresses  it  in  his  familiar 
Ian2;ua2;e,  the  Black  International  and  the  Red  International. 
In  Germany,  in  fact,  where  not  long  since  it  might  have  been 
said  aggressive  Socialism  did  not  exist,  Socialism  has  spread  in 
the  last  few  years  with  an  incredible  rapidity,  founding  every- 
where centres  of  propaganda,  publishing  numerous  popular 
newspapers,  enrolling  its  adherents  in  innumerable  societies, 
which  have  their  statutes,  their  regular  assemblies,  and  their 
public  meetings,  even  conquering  in  open  field  several  seats  , 
in  the  Imperial  Parliament,  and  in  many  electoral  colleges- 
holding  the  balance  of  power  disputed  by  the  other  parties. 
To  arrest  this  alarming  advance,  a  new  clause  of  the  penal 
code  was  presented  to  the  Reichstag.  It  seemed  borrowed 
from  similar  provisions  of  the  French  laws,  and  declared  that : 
"Whosoever  shall  publicly  excite  the  different  classes  of  the 
population  against  each  other  so  as  to  disturb  the  public  peace,  ■ 
or  shall,  in  like  manner,  attack  the  institution  of  marriage,  of  • 
the  family,  or  of  property,  either  by  speech  or  public  writings, 
shall  be  punished  with  imprisonment."  Notwithstanding  the  per- 
sonal intervention  of  Prince  Bismarck  and  the  earnest  entreaty 

B 


//. 


2  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  the  Minister  of  the  Interior,  no  one  rose  to  vote  in  favour 
of  the  proposed  clause.  The  shorthand  report  shows  that  this 
result  was  received  by  the  assembly  with  laughter.  Since  then 
the  two  attempts  against  the  life  of  the  Emperor,  repeated  one 
after  the  other  by  Hosdel  and  Nobiling,  forced  the  hand^of 
the  Imperial  Parliament,  and  an  exceptional  law  of  draconic 
severity  was  put  into  operation  against  Socialism.  During  the 
course  of  the  debate,  Count  Eulenburg,  Minister  of  the  Interior 
and  Prussian  Delegate  to  the  Federal  Council,  in  order  to 
defend  the  object  of  the  law,  explained  very  clearly  the  ideas 
actually  held  by  the  Socialist  party  in  Germany.  As  he  was 
not  contradicted  by  those  members  of  the  Diet  who  represented 
that  particular  shade  of  opinion,  we  may  assume  that  lie 
advanced  nothing  which  was  not  correct  on  all  points. 

Before  1875,  there  existed  in  Germany  two  powerful 
Socialist  associations.  The  first  was  called  the  "  General 
Association  of  German  Working  Men  "  (der  allgemeine  deictsche 
Arbeiterverein).  Founded  by  Lassalle  in  1863,  it  afterwards 
had  for  president  the  deputy  Schweizer,  and  then  the  deputy 
Hasenclever.  Its  principal  centre  of  activity  was  North  Ger- 
many. The  second  was  the  "  Social-democratic  Working 
Men's  Party  "  (die  Social-democratische  Arbciterpartei),  led  by 
two  well-known  deputies  of  the  Reichstag,  Herr  Bebel  and  Herr 
Liebknecht.  Its  adherents  were  chiefly  in  Saxony  and  Southern 
Germany.  The  first  took  into  account  the  ties  of  nationality^ 
and  claimed  the  intervention  of  the  State  in  order  to  bring 
about  a  gradual  transformation  of  society ;  the  second,  on  the 
contrary,  expected  the  triumph  of  its  cause  only  from  a 
revolutionary  movement. 

These  two  associations  existed  for  a  long  time  in  open 
hostility  towards  each  other ;  less,  however,  from  the  difference 
of  the  aims  they  had  in  view  than  in  consequence  of  personal 
rivalry.  Nevertheless,  in  May,  1875,  ^^  the  Congress  of  Gotha, 
they  amalgamated  under  the  title  of  the  "  Socialist  Working 
Men's  Party  of  Germany  "  (Socialistische  Arheiterpai-tei  Deiitsch- 
lands).  The  deputy  Hasenclever  was  nominated  president ; 
but  the  union  did  not  last  long,  or  was  never  complete,  for  as 
early  as  tKe  month  of  August  following  a  separate  meeting  of 


/:! 


CONTEMPORARY  SOCIALISM  IN  GERMANY.  3 

the  "  General  Association  of  German  Working  Men  "  was  held 
at  Hamburg. 

The  congress  of  Gotha  adopted  a  programme  which  very 
concisely  sums  up  the  aspirations  of  German  Socialism.  The 
following  are  some  of  the  principal  clauses  : — 

"  Labour  is  the  source  of  all  wealth  and  civilization.  Since  general 
productive  laUour  is  rendered  possible  only  by  means  of  society,  the  entire 
produce  of  labour  belongs  to  society,  that  is,  to  all  its  members,  by  the 
same  right,  and  to  each  according  to  his  reasonable  needs,  all  being  bound 
to  work. 

"  In  existing  society,  the  instruments  of  production  are  the  monopoly  of 
the  capitalist  class  j  the  dependence  of  the  labouring  classes  which  results 
therefrom  is  the  cause  of  misery  and  servitude  in  all  forms. 

"  The  emancipation  of  labour  requires  that  the  instruments  of  production 
should  become  the  collective  property  of  society,  and  calls  for  the  regulation 
by  society  of  all  works,  employment  for  the  common  weal,  and  a  just 
division  of  the  produce  of  labour. 

"  The  emancipation  of  labour  must  be  the  work  of  the  labouring  class, 
in  face  of  which  all  other  classes  are  mere  reactionary  masses. 

"  Starting  from  these  principles,  the  German  Socialist  working  men's 
party  proposes  to  establish,  by  every  legal  means,  a  free  State  and  a  social- 
istic society,  to  break  in  pieces  the  iron  law  of  wages  by  doing  away  with 
the  system  of  working  for  hire,  to  put  an  end  to  methods  of  making  gain 
out  of  others  (exploitaiivn),  and  to  abolish  all  political  and  social  ine- 
quality. 

"The  German  Socialist  working  men's  party  will  act  in  the  first 
place  on  the  lines  of  nationality,  but  it  recognizes  the  international  character 
of  the  working  men's  movement,  and  is  resolved  to  fulfil  all  the  duties  im- 
posed upon  working  men  by  the  sohdarity  of  their  interests  in  order  to 
realize  the  brotherhood  of  all  men." 

This  programme  is  almost  the  same  as  that  formulated  in 
France,  in  1848,  by  the  Socialist  group  who  tried  to  apply 
Louis  Blanc's  ideas  to  the  factories  of  the  Luxembourg.  Even 
the  famous  formula,  "To  each  according  to  his  needs,"  reap- 
pears here,  although  the  experiment  tried  in  France,  in  the  case 
of  associations  well  adapted  to  ensure  its  success,  had  clearly 
proved  that  distrust  and  discord  were  sown  where  the  reign  of 
peace  and  brotherly  love  was  to  have  been  "established. " 

I  do  not  now  discuss  this  programtiie  ;  I  merely  note  the 
facts.  The  German  Socialist  party  does  not  confine  itself  to 
stating  general  principles.     Now  that  it  has  gained  foothold  on 


4  THE  SOCIALISM  OF   TO-DAY. 

political  soil,  and  sends  representatives  to  Parliament,  it 
endeavours  to  make  known  the  means  by  which  it  hopes  to 
realize  the  reforms  it  has  in  view.     This  is  what  it  claims  : — 

"  The  German  Socialist  party  demands,  in  order  to  pave  theVay  for  the 
solution  of  the  social  question,  the  creation  of  socialistic  productive  associa- 
tions aided  by  the  State,  under  the  democratic  control  of  the  working 
people.  These  productive  associations  for  manufacture  and  agriculture 
should  be  created  on  a  sufficiently  large  scale  to  enable  the  socialistic 
organization  of  labour  to  arise  out  of  them.  As  basis  of  the  State,  it  de- 
mands direct  and  universal  suffrage  for  all  citizens  of  twenty  years  of  age, 
.  in  all  elections  both  of  State  and  Commune  ;  direct  legislation,  by  the 
people,  including  the  decision  of  peace  or  war ;  general  liability  to  bear 
arms  and  a  militia  composed  of  civilians  instead  of  a  standing  army  ;  the 
abohtion  of  all  laws  restricting  the  right  of  association,  the  right  of  assembly, 
the  free  expression  of  opinion,  free  thought,  and  free  inquiry ;  gratuitous 
justice  administered  by  the  people;  compulsory  education,  the  same  foT' 
all  and  given  by  the  State  ;  and  a  declaration  that  religion  is  an  object  of 
private  concern," 

This  programme  of  practical  politics  does  not  contain  any- 
thing very  subversive  of  order.  All  that  it  demands  is  found 
either  in  Germany  itself  or  in  the  neighbouring  country  of 
Switzerland,  except  the  aid  to  be  given  to  productive  associa- 
tions, an  experiment  made  in  France  in  1848,  without  any 
success.  With  regard  to  the  final  object,  "the  Socialistic 
organization  of  all  labour,"  the  terms  are  extremely  vague. 
What  is  the  precise  meaning  of  the  word  "  Socialist,"  which 
recurs  so  often,  and  what  is  this  new  organization  they  have  in 
view  ?  We  shall  endeavour  to  determine  this  by  examining 
the  writings  whence  these  ideas  have  come.  It  is  a  remarkable 
thing,  as  was  affirmed  by  the  deputy  Bamberger,  that  nowhere 
ji  have  socialistic  ideas  found  a  more  cordial  welcome  than.^iu 
Germany.  That,  according  to  him,  is  owmg  to  the  speculative 
1  character  of  the  nation,  which  is  easily  seduced  by  ideal  visions 
of  Utopia.  Not  only  do  these  visions  allure  almost  all  the 
working  men,  but  even  the  middle  classes  cannot  resist  them  ; 
and  one  often  hears,  "  Well,  perhaps  all  would  be  better  so  ; 
1 '  why  not  try  ?  "  Furthermore,  Socialism  has  penetrated  to  the 
i  I  upper  classes  ;  it  sits  in  academies ;  it  occupies  professorial 
chairs  in  universities,  and  it  is  scholars  who  have  originated  the 
party  cries  which  working  men's  associations  now  repeat ;  it  is" 


CONTEMPORARY  SOCIALISM  IN  GERMANY.  5 

conservatives  who  have  attacked  "  mammonism  "  and  spoken 
out  the  loudest  against  the  abuses  of  "  capitahsm."  Nowhere 
else  is  there  anything  like  it  to  be  seen.  Let  us  examine 
tlie  books  which  have  prepared  the  way  for  this  remarkable 
movement.  '^ 


THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  II. 

THE    FORERUNNERS — FICHTE   AND    MARLO. 

SOCIALISM,  as  a  political  party,  is  of  very  recent  origin  in 
Germany.      It   dates   only   from    1863,    when    Lassaile 
excited  and  organized  the  labourers'  agitation.     The  profound 
socialist  movement  which  stirred  the  labouring  classes  in  France, 
during  the  last  years  of  Louis-Philippe's  reign,  and  particularly 
after  1848,  had  raised  but  a  feeble  echo  beyond  the  Rhine. 
No  German  state,  except  Baden,  was  at  all  prepared  to  com- 
prehend it.     The  institutions  of  the  old  regime  had  in  part 
disappeared,  but  its  spirit  and  influence  were  still  dominant. 
The  artisans  were  maintained  and  kept  in  check  by  the  trade 
guilds.     The  great  factory  system  was  still  in  its  infancy,  while 
the  rural  labourers  were  as  much  under  the  influence  of  the 
nobles  as  the  serfs  from  whom  they  had  sprung.     The  modern 
proletarian  was  almost  unknown.     The  lower  classes  had  no 
idea  that  one  day  they  might  obtain  the  suffrage  and  play  a 
part  in  politics.      Never  imagining  that  their  fate   could  be 
other  than  what  it  was,  they  resigned  themselves  to  it  as  in  the 
Middle  Ages. 

The  French  working  men  were  full  of  the  memories  of  the 
French  Revolution.  Their  fathers  had  been  masters  of 
the  State,  why  should  not  they  become  so?  They  were  the 
sovereign  people— the  only  true  and  real  sovereign — why  live 
in  misery?  The  life  of  the  German  working  man  was  far 
harder,  but  was  not  that  his  allotted  destiny  ?  He  remembered 
neither  the  equality  of  condition,  based  on  collective  property, 
of  primitive  Germany,  nor  the  peasant  revolt  of  the  sixteenth 
century,  so  soon  drowned  in  blood.     He  still  felt  the  leaden 


THE  FORERUNNERS — FICHTE  AND  MARLO.  J 

yoke  which  weighed  upon  Germany  since  the  Thirty  Years' 
War,  and  had  hardly  opened  his  eyes  to  modern  Hfe.     He  was 
agitated  by  no  spirit  of  revolt,  no  aspiration  towards  a  better 
order  of  things.      The  saying  of   Lassalle  was   true  :    while  »(> 
English   and  French  working  men  dreamed  of  reforms,  the  j 
German  working  man  had  to  be  awakened  to  the  fact  that  he  j 
was  miserable.      Therefore  the  first  socialistic  writings  made  ' 
but  little  stir  when  they  appeared. 

It  was  from  France  that  came  the  first  ideas  of  social 
transformation  and  revolution.  This  was  recognized  by  Karl 
Marx,  the  most  learned  of  German  Socialists.  "  The  emanci- 
pation of  Germany  will  be  that  of  all  humanity,"  he  wrote 
in  a  review,  some  numbers  of  which  appeared  in  Paris  in  1844; 
"  but  when  all  is  ready  in  Germany,  the  insurrection  will  only 
wake  at  the  crowing  of  the  Gallic  cock."  * 

To  find  the  first  manifestations  of  modern  Socialism  in 
Germany,  we  must  refer  back  to  Kant's  most  famous  disciple, 
Fichte,  who  was  inspired  by  the  ideas  of  the  French  Revo- 
lution,  as   he   himself  declares.     In   his   "  Materials   for  the 
Justification  of  the  French  Revolution,"  he  writes  :  "  Property  |i| 
can  have  no  other  origin  than  labour.     Whosoever  does  not  [  j 
work,   has  no  right  to  obtain   the  means  of  existence  from 
society."      In   1796  he  proclaimed  "the  right  to  property." 
He  says  in  his  "Principles  of  Natural  Right,"  "  Whosoever  has 
noFlIielneans  of  living  is  not  bound  to  recognize  or  respect 
the  property  of  others,  seeing  that,  as  regards  him,  the  prin- 
ciples of  the  social  contract  have  been  violated.     Every  one 
should  have  some  property;    society  owes  to  all  the  means 
of  work,  and  all  should  work  in  order  to  live."     In  his  book 
on   "The  State  in  Accordance  with  Right"  {Rechtstaat),  he 
foreshadows    a   collective   organization   which   would   realize 
what   he   understands   by   right  :    "  Labour   and   distribution 
should  be  collectively   organized ;    every    one  "should  receive 
for  a  fixed  amount  of  labour,  a  fixed  amount  of  capital  which 
would  constitute  his  property,  according  to  right.     Property 

*  Vide  the  Review  Deittsch-Franzosische  yahrbikher,  published  by 
Arnold  Ruge  and  Karl  Marx,  assisted  by  Hess,  Engels,  Herwegh,  and 
Bruno  Bauer.  -— ^ 


8  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

will  thus  be  made  universal.     No  person  should  enjoy  super- 
fluities, as  long  as  anybody  lacks  necessaries ;  for  the  right  of 
property  in  objects  of  luxury  can  have  no  foundation  until  each 
citizen  has  his  share  in  the  necessaries  of  life.     Farmers  and 
labourers  should  form  partnerships,  so  as  to  produce  the  most 
with  the  least  possible  exertion."     The  essential  ideas  of  the 
;  Socialism  of  to-day,  as  regards  both  the  notion  of  right  and 
•  its  realization,  are  contained  in  embryo  in  the  foregoing  lines, 
\  which  were  manifestly  inspired  by  Rousseau  and  the  eighteenth 
I  century  philosophers. 

'  After  Fichte  must  be  mentioned  the  tailor  Weitling,  who 
was  deeply  imbued  with  the  ideas  of  Fourrier  and  Cabet.  For 
some  years  he  endeavoured  to  promulgate  them  throughout 
Switzerland  and  Southern  Germany.  In  1835  he  published 
his  first  work,  entitled  "  Humanity  as  it  is,  and  as  it  should 
be."  *  In  1 84 1,  at  Vevey,  he  issued  a  German  paper  in  which 
he  urged  the  working  men  to  establish  a  democratic  republic. 
Finally,  in  a  book  published 'at  Zurich  (1842),  entitled  "The 
Guarantees  and  Harmonies  of  Liberty,"  f  he  preached  the 
Communism  of  Babeuf  and  Rousseau.  "Absolute  equality," 
he  asserts,  "  can  be  established  only  by  the  total  destruction  of 
the  existing  State  organization.  It  can  admit  of  administration 
only,  and  not  of  government.  Property,  when  first  instituted, 
was  endurable  ;  it  did  not  then  take  away  from  anybody  the 
right  and  the  means  of  becoming  a  landowner,  for  there  was  no 
money,  while  there  was  vacant  land  in  abundance.  From  the 
moment,  however,  that  every  free  man  could  no  longer  appro- 
priate a  part  of  the  soil,  property  has  ceased  to  be  a  right.  It 
has  become  a  crying  evil,  and  the  cause  of  the  misery  and 
destitution  of  the  masses.  I  bid  you  open  your  prisons  and 
say  to  those  shut  up  there,  '  You  know  no  more  than  we  what 
property  means ;  let  us  combine  our  efforts  to  overturn  these 
walls,  these  hedges,  these  barriers,  in  order  that  the  cause  of 
our  enmity  may  disappear,  and  that  we  may  live  together  as 
brothers.'  "  This  is,  in  the  main,  the  language  of  Rousseau  on 
the  origin  of  inequality. 

*  Die  Menscheit,  wie  sie  ist  ttnd  sein  solle. 
+  Garantien  und  Harmonien  der  Freiheit. 


THE  FORERUNNERS — FICHTE  AND  MARLO.  9 

The  writings  of  Weitling  attracted  but  slight  attention. 
Possibly  they  helped  to  spread  in  Southern  Germany  the 
revolutionary  leaven  which  burst  forth  iu  the  insurrection  at 
Baden  in  1848,  but  there  was  then  no  German  Socialist 
party.  * 

After  the  revolutionary  movements  of   1848  had  resulted 
throughout   Europe   in   a  period   of  reaction,    the   march    of 
socialistic  ideas,  completely  arrested  in  France,  at  least  in  all 
publications,  began  to  assume  a  scientific  character  in  Germany. 
Under  the  name  of  Mario,  Professor  Winkelblech  published,  in   /| 
parts,  an  important  work,   which  was  still   incomplete  at  his  *i/ 
death  in  1859.     This  work  is  entitled  "Investigations  on  the 
Organization   of    Labour,    or   System   of   Universal   Political 
Economy. "t     In  a  striking  passage  of  the  preface  he  relates  (| 
how  he  came  to  interest  himself  in  social  questions.  '| 

He  was  visiting  the  north  of  Europe  in  1843,  i'^  order  to 
study  the  progress  of  manufactures  there.  One  day,  just  as  he 
was  leaving  the  factory  of  Modum  in  Norway,  he  turned  to 
take  a  last  look  at  the  Alpine-like  valley  in  which  it  is  situated. 
While  he  was  contemplating  the  lovely  scenery,  a  German 
working  man  came  up  to  him  and  begged  him  to  carry  home 
a  message  for  him.  They  engaged  in  conversation.  The  work- 
man related  his  history,  and  showed  how  small  were  his  wages, 
and  what  privations  he  had  to  undergo  in  order  to  live  upon 
them.  This  made  Mario  reflect.  How  comes  it,  he  asked 
himself,  that  this  charming  valley,  which  seems  a  corner  of 
Paradise,  should  conceal  such  misery  ?  Is  the  fault  in  man  or 
in  nature?  "Until  now  I  have  been  admiring  the  power  of 
machinery  and  the  marvels  of  the  factory,  without  ever  inquiring 
into  the  lot  of  those  employed  therein.  I  have  been  calculating 
the  amount  of  the  products,  without  ever  seeking  to  know  how 

*  Among  the  German  socialistic  writings  prior  to  1848  may  be  also 
cited,  "Destruction  and  Reconstruction,  or  the  Present  and  Future,"  by- 
Michael  (Stuttgart,  1846);  "The  Condition  of  the  Working  Classes  inn 
England,"  by  Frederick  Engels  (Leipzig,  1845).     This  latter  work  con-    | 
tains   some    interesting    facts  Taken   from    the   English  inquiries  into  the  •■  j 
subject,  and  is  in  part  the  source  from  which  Karl  Marx  drew  his  ideas. 

+   Untcrsuclmngen  titer  die  Organisation  der  Arbeit  oder  System  der 
Wellcekonomie. 


10  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

many  had  no  share  in  them."  From  that  moment  he  took  the 
resokition  to  fathom  this  problem,  and  it  left  him  no  more 
peace. 

First  he  studied  the  condition  of  the  different  classes  in  the 
civilized  countries,  and  everywhere  he  found  poverty,  embar- 
rassment, unrest ;  suffering  among  employers  as  well  as 
employed,  in  the  large  towns,  where  dwelt  luxury  and  opulence, 
as  well  as  in  the  peasant's  cabin ;  in  the  fertile  plains  of  Bel- 
gium and  Lombardy,  no  less  than  on  the  mountainous  regions 
of  Sweden  and  Bohemia.  Seeking  afterwards  for  the  causes  of 
this  wretched  state  of  things,  he  convinced   himself  that   it 

I  resulted  not  from  nature  and  her  laws,  but  from  the  laws  and 
institutions  of  man.  He  therefore  came  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  only  way  to  remedy  the  evils  from  which  society  suffers, 
is  to  reform  and  improve  social  organization.  His  researches 
convinced  him  that  industrial  improvements,  however  great 
they  might  be,  could  never  result  in  making  comfort  general. 
The  ulterior  progress  of  civilization  depended,  therefore,  upon 
the  advance  of  Political  Economy,  and  accordingly  he  considered 
this  science  as  the  most  important  of  our  day.     Nothing  can 

\  be  more  true ;  the  economic  question  is  at  the  bottom  of  all 
our  discussions.  It  is  the  claims  of  "those  who  have  not" 
which  alarm  "  those  who  have  "  and  imperil  liberty.  Plato  said 
that  in  every  city  there  were,  face  to  face,  two  hostile  nations, 
the  rich  and  the  poor,  and  modern  democracies  are  disclosing 
a  similar  situation.  The  Communists  of  Paris  detested  "  the 
Versaillists  "  far  more  than  the  Prussians;  and  in  1870  the 
German  Socialists  expressed  wishes  in  favour  of  the  triumph 
of  the  French  Republic,  and  against  the  success  of  their  own 
country. 

How  comes  it  that  in  modern  communities,  with  all  their 
opulence,  there  should  be  so  much  want  and  wretchedness  ? 
How  is  it  that  England,  who  weaves  cloth  enough  to  put  a 
girdle  round  the  globe,  should  have  so  many  poor  in  need  of 
clothes  ?  Science  subdues  the  forces  of  nature,  the  power  of 
machinery  is  unbounded ;  how  is  it,  then,  that  so  many  families 
lack  the  very  necessaries  of  life  ?  Is  it  because  labour  does 
not  produce  enough,  or  because  the  products  are  badly  dis- 


U 


THE  FORERUNNERS — FICHTE  AND  MARLO.         II 

tributed  ?  Must  the  cause  be  sought  for  in  the  vices  of  indi- 
viduals, or  in  the  imperfections  of  the  social  system  ?  It  was 
to  the  elucidation  of  this  problem  that  Mario  dedicated  fifteen 
years  of  his  life,  and  the  three  big  volumes  of  his  unfinished 
work.  It  cannot  be  said  that  he  was  altogether  successful,  but 
his  book  contains  some  original  views.  He  draws  a  sound 
comparison  between  what  he  calls  the  pagan  and  the  Christian 
principle  in  political  economy.  The  pagan  principle  sacrifices 
the  masses  in  order  to  insure  the  pleasures  and  the  splendour 
of  a  restricted  aristocracy,  as  in  the  ancient  cities.  The  Christian 
principle  knows  only  equals,  and  demands  that  each  should 
have  a  share  of  the  produce  in  proportion  to  his  useful  work. 
The  pagan  method  of  making  a  profit  out  of  the  labourer  has 
taken  several  forms :  at  first  slavery,  then  serfdom,  forced 
labour,  the  rights  of  the  feudal  lord.  To-day  there  are  practical 
monopolies,  "  cornerings,"  privileges,  and  gambling  speculations. 
The  Christian  principle,  on  the  contrary,  according  as  it  per- 
meates our  customs  and  laws,  will  inaugurate  the  reign  of  equity 
upon  earth,  and  will  raise  up  the  down-trodden  classes,  sacrificed 
of  old  under  the  ancient  re'gime. 

The  theory  of  property  laid  down  by  Mario  is  remarkable. 
According  to  him,  this  right  should  be  so  established  as  to 
insure  the  most  profitable  working  of  the  forces  of  nature,  and 
at  the  same  time  to  enable  each  individual  to  enjoy  the  fruits 
of  his  own  labour.  Property  based  upon  slavery  is,  therefore, 
objectionable;  in  the  first  place,  because,  while  withholding 
from  the  labourer  the  incentive  of  personal  interest,  it  offers  no 
other  inducement  to  him  to  extort  from  Nature  all  she  can  give; 
and  secondly,  because  it  does  not  insure  to  the  slave  the  enjoy- 
ment of  the  fruits  of  his  labour.  Large  feudal  estates,  fettered 
by  the  bonds  of  primogeniture  and  entail,  may  in  certain  respects 
be  favourable  to  the  progress  of  agriculture,  as  asserted  by  the 
English;  but  they  have  the  great  defect  of  excluding  the 
majority  from  all  ownership  in  the  soil,  and,  consequently,  from 
the  enjoyment  of  the  total  produce  of  their  labour.  The  ancient 
collective  ownership  of  the  Germans,  which  was  indivisible  and 
inalienable,  had  the  advantage  of  assuring  to  each  the  possession 
of  the  means  of  labour,  but  it  was  little  favourable  to  produc- 


12  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tion,  because  it  lessened  the  force  of  individual  interest  as  an 
incentive  to  work,  and  it  did  not  lend  itself  to  the  varied  com- 
binations which  arise  from  the  modern  organization  of  trade. 
"  Associated  ownership  " — that  is  to  say,  the  same  as  exists  in 
the  modern  joint-stock  companies — is,  according  to  Mario,  the 
form  which  best  suits  intensive  production.  It  unites  the  per- 
manent character  and  the  powerful  means  of  production  of 
corporate  ownership,  to  the  advantages  arising  from  the  capa- 
bility of  division  and  transfer,  and  the  individual  nature  of 
parcelled-out  private  property.  Hence  the  ever-increasing  part 
assumed  by  commercial  and  industrial  societies  in  the  economic 
world. 

Mario  sets  forth,  with  remarkable  analytical  force,  the 
advantages  offered  by  associated  ownership,  as  well  for  the 
increase  in  the  productivity  of  labour  as  for  the  improvement 
of  the  condition  of  the  labourers.  He  did  not,  however,  foresee 
all  the  obstacles  which,  in  the  present  state  of  things,  prevent 
its  becoming  as  general  as  might  have  been  hoped,  if  only  the 
best  side,  which  the  author  throws  into  such  bold  relief,  were 
taken  into  consideration.  The  solution  which  he  reaches  is  in 
reality  borrowed  from  Fourrier;  the  Utopia  of  communistic 
phalansteries  appears  from  time  to  time  as  the  ideal.  Never- 
theless, he  has  studied  Political  Economy  most  profoundly,  and 
in  his  deductions,  often  very  ingenious,  he  scarcely  ever  ignores 
economic  principles.  Unlike  most  reformers,  he  insists,  as  *"*^ 
strongly  as  J.  S.  Mill,  that  the  population  question  in  reality 
governs  all  others.  Like  Mill,  or  Joseph  Garnier,  he  says  : 
accomplish  the  best  imaginable  reforms,  spare  nothing  in  order 
to  better  the  condition  of  the  lower  classes,  adopt  laws  the  best 
calculated  to  further  the  growth  of  wealth  and  its  equitable  dis- 
tribution, yet  all  your  efforts  will  be  in  vain,  if  the  population 
increases  faster  than  the  means  of  subsistence.  Industry  will 
in  vain  multiply  her  manufactured  articles ;  they  are  merely 
accessories.  The  essential  thing  to  know  is  whether  each  year 
agriculture  can  obtain  from  the  soil  sufficient  produce  to  enable 
everybody  at  least  to  be  fed. 

Mario  is  entirely  right  on  this  point,  but  he  relies  too  much 
upon  preventive  measures,  which,  as  experience  has  shown, 


THE   FORERUNNERS— FICFITE  AND  MARLO.         1 3 

encourage  immorality,  without  arresting  the  increase  of  the 
inhaLTtants,  The  only  way  to  attain  this  object  is  to  aim  at 
making  education  and  property  the  inheritance  of  all.  The 
man  who  enjoys  a  little  comfort,  and  has  received  some  educa- 
tion, at  once  becomes  provident.  He  does  not  wish,  by  a 
premature  marriage,  to  devote  both  himself  and  his  family  to 
certain  misery.  It  is  in  France  that  population  increases  most 
slowly — so  slowly,  in  fact,  that  some  are  alarmed  at  it ;  and  it  is 
in  France  that  land  is  divided  among  so  large  a  number  of 
persons,  that  those  who  do  not  possess  any  form  the  minority. 
Enlightened  families  in  easy  circumstances  have  so  few  children 
that  they  are  in  danger  of  extinction.  In  Ireland,  on  the  con- 
trary, the  peasants  plunged  in  misery  and  ignorance  swarm  with 
children.  The  more  a  man  leads  an  intellectual  life,  the  less 
powerful  does  the  animal  nature  become  in  him.  The  majority 
of  great  men  have  left  no  posterity.  The  progress  of  enlighten- 
ment and  comfort  is  therefore  the  best  antidote  against  a  too 
great  increase  of  population,  and,  by  a  kind  of  social  harmony, 
the  advance  of  civilization  dispels  the  principal  danger  that 
threatens  its  future. 


\M> 


14  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  III. 

RODBERTUS-JAGETZOW. 

GERMAN  Socialists  of  note  have  not  drawn  up  the  plan 
of  a  new  society.  Unlike  Sir  Thomas  More,  Babeuf, 
Fourrier,  or  Cabet,  they  do  not  present  us  with  an  ideal,  a 
Utopia,  a  perfect  city  which  would  be  a  Paradise  on  earth. 
They  have  a  profound  knowledge  of  Political  Economy  and  of 
the  facts  proved  by  statistics.  They  have  studied  history,  law, 
, ,  the  dead  languages,  and  foreign  literature.  They  belong  to 
7  the  w^ell-to-do  class,  and  are  scholars  by  profession.  They^o 
not  allow  themselves  to  be  led  astray  by  the  chimeras  of  others, 
nor  ^by  those  to  which  their  own  imagination  may  give  birth. 
They  content  themselves  with  criticising  the  classical  works  on 
Political  Economy,  and  with  placing  in  strong  relief  tKe^evtls 
of  existing  social  conditions.  Their  -works  have  thus'tlie 
same  characteristics  as  those  of  Proudhon ;  but  though  less 
clear  and  brilliant,  they  have  more  coherence  and  solidity. 
To  disentangle  their  mistakes,  sustained  attention  and  pro- 
found knowledge  of  economical  principles  are  needed. 

After  Mario,  there  conies  a  writer  little  known  outside 
,'  f  Germany,  and  seldom  quoted,  but  whose  few  and  brief  writings 
i  i  contain,  as  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer  very  justly  says,*  all  the  ideas 

*  See  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer's  remarkable  work  :   "The  Struggle  for  the 

Emancipation    of  the    Fourth    Estate."       {Die  Etnancipatiotis-kampf  des 

vierte7i  Standes.)    The  second  edition  has  lately  appeared.    Hermann  Bahr, 

r^  Berlin,  1882.     [An  abstract  of  the  opinions  of  Rodbertus,  translated  from 

f    the  above  work  of  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer,  will  be  found  in  the  appendix  to 

[    Mr.  Hyndman's  book,  "The  Historical  Basis  of  Socialism  in  England." 

London,  1S83.     Tr.'] 


ROBBER  TUS-JA  GE  TZO  W. 


15 


which  Marx  and  Lassalle  have  since  unfolded,  and  which, 
through  them,  have  reverberated  throughout  the  world.  This 
writer  is  Rodbertus-Jagetzow,  Minister  of  Agriculture  in  Prussia 
in  1848,  who  immediately  after  that  epoch  retired  to  his  estates 
and  occupied  himself  with  farming  and  with  historical  and 
economical  researches.  He  published  no  large  theoretical 
treatises,  but  only  articles  in  the  Reviews  and  Journals.  His 
system  is  expounded  in  letters  addressed  to  his  friend.  Von 
Kirchmann.*  The  famous  agitator,  Lassalle,  was  in  regular 
correspondence  with  Rodbertus  to  the  end  of  his  life,  and 
Marx  borrowed  from  him  the  foundation  of  his  theories.  This 
writer's  small  and  too  little  known  volume  is  certainly  one  of 
the  most  original  works  that  Germany  has  produced  in  the 
matter  of  Political  Economy,  although  the  basis  of  his  deductions 
is,  in  my  opinion,  entirely  erroneous.  Rodbertus  was  not,  it  is 
true,  a  Socialist,  but,  like  Ricardo,  he  prepared  the  scientific 
arsenal  from  which  Socialism  has  obtained  its  weapons.  We 
cannot  give  here  a  complete  analysis  of  the  ideas  of  Rodbertus, 
but  can  only  indicate  their  leading  points. 

As  he  himself  rightly  says,  his  system  is  only  the  rigorous 
application  of  the  principle  laid  down  by  Adam  Smit;h,  and  still 
more  rigorously  formulated  by  Ricardo,  that  all  wealth  ought  to 
be  considered  economically  as  the  product  of  labour,  and  as  , 
costing  labour  alone.  Poverty  and  commercial  crises,  those'' 
two  great  obstacles  to  the  regular  progress  of  well-being  and 
civilization,  have,  according  to  him,  only  one  cause,  which  is 
this  :  As  long  as  the  exchange  of  commodities  and  the  division 
of  produce  remain  subject  to  laws  of  historical  origin,  and  not 
to  those  of  reason,  so  long  will  the  wages  of  the  working  classes 
form  a  relatively  smaller  part  of  the  national  produce  in  pro- 
portion as  the  productivity  of  labour  increases.  Rodbertus 
arrived  at  this  conclusion  by  the  study  of  the  economic  influences 
which  regulate  the  rate  of  wages  and  of  rent. 

The  working  man,  he  says,  brings  on  the  market  a  perishable 


1 


zJidjtii. 


urtw  anvt'w' 


*  These  letters  were  collected  and  published  in  1875  under  the  title, 
Zur  Beleuchtung  der  socialen  Frage.  Rudolf  Meyer  has  also  recently  (1S82) 
brought  out  at  Berlin  (A.  Klein,  publisher)  some  letters  and  fragments  of 
Rodbertus  that  are  worth  reading. 


1 6  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

merchandise,  namely,  his  labour.  If  he  have  neither  land  nor 
capital  to  employ  his  labour,  he  must  offer  it  to  those  who  can 
make  use  of  it.  How  much  will  they  give  for  his  service^  ? 
Forced  by  competition  to  produce  at  the  least  possible  cost, 
they  will  give  no  more  than  what  is  strictly  necessary.  But 
what  is  strictly  necessaiy  is  what  is  needed  to  enable  the 
labourer  to  subsist  and  to  perpetuate  Tiis  kind.  This  is  the 
necessary  wage  of  which  Ricardo  speaks,  the  standard  minimum 
i  towards  which,  amid  the  oscillations  induced  by  supply  and 
\  demand,  wages  actually  gravitate.  Suppose  labour  became 
J  more  productive.  The  workman  would  produce  more  com- 
modities in  the  day.  It  would  follow  that  each  of  these 
commodities  would  have  cost  less  labour  and  would  sell 
cheaper.  The  workman  who  lives  by  the  consumption  of 
these  commodities  would  thus  be  able  to  maintain  himself  at 
less  expense,  and  consequently  content  himself  with  lower 
wages.  Rodbertus  endeavours  to  render  this  clearer  by  an 
example.  A  proprietor  obtains  from  his  land,  by  employing  a 
labourer,  i6o  bushels  of  wheat.  Of  this  he  gives  eighty  bushels 
to  the  labourer,  representing  his  necessary  wage,  and  can  keep 
eighty  bushels  for  himself.  If  by  means  of  improved  processes 
he  can  gather  in  240  bushels,  he  will  have  for  his  share  160, 
and  in  this  way  the  wage,  which  at  first  formed  half  the  total 
produce,  v/ill  be,  when  the  labour  has  become  more  productive, 
only  one-third.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  since  the  invention  of 
steam,  the  aggregate  of  products  created  in  civilized  societies 
has  increased  threefold,  perhaps  fivefold,  while  wages  have  not 
.  been  augmented  in  proportion.  This  remark  of  Rodbertus  is 
just ;  but  the  fact  which  he  criticises  cannot  be  otherwise  under 
;  the  rule  of  our  present  laws  and  institutions.  If  products  have 
increased  to  such  a  degree,  it  is  due  to  the  fact  that  two  or  three 
times  as  much  capital  is  employed  to-day  as  in  the  last  century. 
This  capital  must  be  remunerated,  and  thus  it  engrosses  the 
surplus  production  of  which  it  is  the  source.  When  corn  was 
ground  by  means  of  hand-mills,  almost  all  the  produce  was 
distributed  in  wages.  If,  owing  to  the  erection  of  a  steam-mill, 
only  a  third  of  the  hands  previously  employed  are  needed,  their 
remuneration  will  absorb  only  a  third  of  the  produce,  and  the 


ROBBER  TUS-JA  GETZOIF.  ly 

other  two-thirds  will  go  to  capital.  The  hands  thrown  out  of 
work  by  the  introduction  of  the  machine  will  find  employment 
elsewhere,  and  as  consumers  they  will  in  part  profit  by  the 
lowering  in  price  of  the  products,  consequent  on  the  employ- 
ment of  mechanical  contrivances.  It  cannot  be  denied  tliat 
the  working  man  is  better  fed,  better  lodged,  and  better  clothed 
to-"daylhan  formerly.  If,  then,  it  is  true  that  the  aggregate  of 
wages  bears  a  less  proportion  to  the  national  produce,  because 
fixed  capital,  the  source  of  the  increased  production,  engrosses 
an  increasing  share,  the  position  of  the  labourer  is,  on  the  other 
hand,  improved,  because  competition,  by  bringing  down  the 
selUng-price  of  commodities  to  a  level  with  the  cost  of  pro- 
duction, causes  all  consumers  to  profit  by  the  progress  of 
manufacture. 

Rodbertus  criticises  in  a  very  specious  way  the  theory  of 
Ricardo  that  rent  arises  from  the  necessity  of  bringing  into 
cultivation  more  and  more  refractory  land.  According  to  him,  , 
rent  arises  simply  from  the  increased  productivity  of  labour, 
and  there  would  be  rent  even  if  all  lands  were  equally  fertile. 
If  a  man  by  cultivating  the  soil  can  draw  from  it  more  than 
is  necessary  for  his  subsistence,  he  can  give  up  the  surplus 
to  somebody  else,  and,  if  he  does  not  own  the  land  himself, 
he  will  be  obliged  to  give  it  to  the  owner.  The  landlord  will 
ask  all  he  can  get ;  the  amount  which  the  tenant  can  pay  will 
depend  on  the  quantity  of  produce,  the  price  of  this  produce, 
and  the  necessary  cost  of  its  production.  Rent  will  increase 
accordingly,  if  more  is  produced  per  acre,  if  the  produce  is 
sold  at  a  higher  price,  or  if  it  is  produced  more  economically. 
Once  more,  it  follows  from  this  that  the  more  productive 
agricultural  labour  becomes,  the  more  the  landlord's  share 
increases,  while  that  of  the  labourer,  remaining  the  same, 
will  bear  a  less  proportion  to  the  total  produce. 

These  deductions  contain  a  portion  of  the  truth.  In  fact, 
in  order  that  there  should  be  rent,  it  is  enough  that  land 
should  be  the  subject  of  a  monopoly  and  should  produce 
more  than  suffices  for  the  maintenance  of  him  wlio  cultivates 
it.  But  Rodbertus  has  not  paid  attention  to  the  fact  that 
if  agricultural  labour,  by  becoming  more  productive,  brings 

c 


iS  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

more  commodities  into  the  market,  the  price  of  these  com- 
modities will  fall,  consumers  will  profit  thereby,  and  rent  will 
not  rise.  Mill,  indeed,  believes  that  in  such  a  case  rent  would 
be  lowered.  Ricardo  was  perfectly  right  in  maintaining  that 
the  cause  of  the  rise  of  rent  is  the  increase  of  population, 
which,  by  requiring  more  food,  brings  about  a  rise  in  its  price. 
On  the  other  hand,  when  there  is  no  want  of  land,  as  is  the 
case  in  new  countries,  rent  is  almost  nil,  however  productive 
labour  may  be.  The  reason  of  this  is  evident :  the  farmer 
will  not  consent  to  pay  a  high  price  for  the  enjoyment  of  a 
farm  which  he  can  get  almost  for  nothing  elsewhere.  What 
remains  true  in  the  statement  of  Rodbertus  is  that  every 
invention,  every  process  which  lessens  the  cost  of  production, 
permits  of  an  increase  of  rent.  This  is  a  very  important  point, 
which  has  not  been  clearly  perceived,  and  which  escaped  even 
Ricardo  and  Mill. 

The  capital  mistake  of  Rodbertus,  borrowed  from  him  by 
the  other  German  Socialists,  is  that  he  makes  labour  the  sole 
source  of  value.  He  concludes  from  it  that  all  commodities 
ought  to  be  exchanged  on  the  footing  of  the  amount  of  manual 
labour  each  of  them  has  exacted,  and  on  this  basis  he  has 
sketched  the  project  of  a  Loan  Institution,  which  closely 
resembles  Proudhon's  Bank  of  Exchange.  The  workman 
deposits  a  commodity  at  the  central  depot ;  this  commodity 
is  valued  according  to  the  number  of  hours  of  labour  normally 
and  on  the  average  necessary  to  produce  it.  This  is  its  natural 
price.  He  receives  in  payment  a  credit-note  representing  these 
hours  of  labour,  and  with  this  credit-note  he  can  buy  in  the 
common  emporium  any  other  commodity  the  price  of  which  is 
fixed  in  the  same  way.  This,  as  may  be  seen,  is  putting  into 
practice  the  idea  of  Adam  Smith,  that  labour,  and  not  coin, 
is  the  best  common  measure  of  values.  In  the  multitude  of 
exchanges  which  take  place,  hours  of  labour  would  always  be 
bartered  against  hours  of  labour,  or,  as  Bastiat  expresses  it, 
services  against  services.  The  well-being  of  each  person 
would  be  proportioned  to  the  part  he  had  taken  in  the 
national  production,  without  any  deduction  to  the  profit  of 
an3'body.     The  power  of  buying  would  be  in  proportion  to 


RODBERTUS-JAGErZOW.  1 9 

the  produce  created,  which  amounts  to  saying  that  the  producer   //•  3 
would  be  able  to  buy  back  his  own  product.     We  shall  find 
similar  ideas  in  the  writings  of  Karl  Marx.     In  order  to  avoid 
repetition,  we  shall  postpone  the  discussion  of  them  until  after 
having  seen  under  what  new  form  this  writer  expounds  them. 


20  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


II  2. 


CHAPTER  IV. 

KARL    MARX. 

KARL  MARX  is,  beyond  dispute,  the  most  influential 
Socialist  writer  of  Germany;  and  his  principal  work,  Das 
Kapital,  is  considered  even  by  his  opponents  as  an  original  and 
remarkable  book.  However,  it  is  not  to  this  work  that  Marx 
owes  his  influence,  for  it  was  not  written  to  be  read  by  the  people. 
It  is  as  abstract  as  a  mathematical  treatise  and  far  more  irksome 
to  read.  It  is  a  regular  puzzle,  because  the  author  uses  terms 
in  a  peculiar  sense,  and  builds  up,  by  deduction  after  deduc- 
tion, a  complete  system  founded  on  definitions  and  hypotheses. 
It  requires  a  constant  tension  of  mind  to  follow  his  reasonings, 
in  which  certain  words  are  always  diverted  from  their  usual 
significations. 

As  Mr.  Cliffe  Leslie  has  very  truly  remarked.  Das  Kapital 
is  a  striking  example  of  the  abuse  of  the  deductive  method, 
so  often  employed  by  many  Economists.  The  author  starts 
from  certain  axioms  and  formulas  which  he  considers  rigor- 
ously true.  From  these  he  deduces  the  consequences  which 
they  seem  to  involve,  and  thus  he  arrives  at  conclusions  which 
he  presents  as  being  as  irrefutable  as  those  of  the  exact  sciences. 
Nothing  is  more  deceptive  than  this  method,  and  it  has 
beguiled  the  best  minds.  In  the  moral  and  political  sciences 
language  never  succeeds  in  rendering  with  precision  the 
infinite  variations  of  facts.  Mathematical  science  alone  can 
do  this,  because  its  speculations  are  confined  to  abstract  and 
rigorously  determined  data. 

In  Political  Economy,  as  in  morals  and  politics,  definitions 
serve  to  give  an  idea  of  the  subjects  under  discussion  ;  but 
they  cannot  describe  those  subjects  with  sufficient  exactness 


KARL  MARX.  21 

to  enable  conclusions  to  be  drawn  from  them  with  certainty. 
As  M.  H.  Passy  justly  remarks,  if  too  short,  definitions  are 
false,  because  they  do  not  take  exceptions  into  account ;  if  too 
long,  they  perplex  and  serve  no  purpose.     The  best  plan  is  \ 
to  use  words  in  their  usual  sense,  to  employ  concrete  terms 
that  everybody  understands,  and  to  avoid  as  far  as  possible;; 
abstract  and  general  expressions  which  give  rise  to  frequent  i 
mistakes  and  bootless  discussions.     Thus  contests  are  always 
arising  among  economists  as  to  what  is  to  be  understood  by 
"capital"  and  "rent."     Why  not  simply  say,  food,  machines, 
tools,    money    or    income,    and    the    produce    of    land?     It 
would  take  a  little  longer,  but  it  would  be  much  more  clear. 
Bossuet  and  Pascal  did  not  employ  vague  abstract  terms ;  they! ;' 
always  expressed   themselves  in  an   incisive   and   intelligible  i 
manner.    To  confine  one's  self  to  the  language  of  the  seventeenth  [| 
cerTtury  would  suffice  to  put  an  end  to  most  of  the  misunder- 
standings   and    idle    discussions    which   encumber    Political 
Economy,  and  to  render  impossible  such  mistakes  as  are  to 
be  found  in  Das  Kapital. 

What  made  Karl  Marx  one  of  the  leaders  of  European 
Socialism  was  that  he  was  the  founder  and  organizer  of  the  || 
International.  There  is  nothing  of  the  revolutionary  agitator  | 
either  in  his  writings  or  in  his  life.  His  books  have  the  pre- 
tension of  being  purely  scientific,  and  his  life,  after  some 
stormy  incidents,  was  that  of  a  scholar  pursuing  his  favourite 
studies  in  peaceful  seclusion. 

Marx  was  born  at  Treves,  on  the   2nd  May,  1818.     His 
father,    a   baptized   Jew,    was    an   inspector   of  mines.     Karl, 
studied  law  with  great  success  at  the  university  of  Bonn,  and 
after  returning  to  Treves,  married,  in  1843,  Jenny  von  West- 
phalen,  sister  of  the  Count  von  Westphalen,  who  had  been 
a  member  of  the  Manteuffel  ministry,  and  who  had  recently 
died.     He  refused  the  advantageous  posts  held  out  to  him 
in  the  service  of  the  State  in  order  to  give  himself  entirely 
up  to  studying  Political  Economy,  and  in  particular  the  social!:' 
question.     Prosecuted   by  the  Prussian   Government   for   his  j 
extreme  opinions,  he  took  refuge  in  Paris,  and  there  published,  \i 
jointly  with  Arnold  Ruge,  the  Deutsch-Franzosische  yahrlmcher,  I 


22  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

and  with  Heinrich  Heine,  the  journal  Vorwdrts  (Forwards). 
//  Expelled  from  France  in  1844,  and  from  Brussels  in  1S48, 
he  returned  to  Germany,  and  took  advantage  of  the  liberty 
gained  there  through  the  revolution  of  March  to  bring  out^ 
in  company  with  his  friend  Wolff,  a  journal  in  which  he 
roughly  handled  the  bourgeoisie.  Prosecuted  anew,  he  fled 
for  refuge  to  London,  where  he  subsequently  lived,  dividing 
his  time  between  economical  studies  and  the  secret  direction 
of  the  International.* 

As  early  as  1847,  in  a  manifesto  drawm  up  with  the  aid  of 
his  friend  Friedrich  Engels,  in  the  name  of  the  German  Com- 
munists in  London,  Marx  formulated  the  two  principles  which 
\  still  rule  German  and  indeed  European  Socialism.     He  there 
maintains,  m  the  first  place,  that  the  interests  of  the  working 
I  classes  in   their  struggle  against  the  capitalists,  being   every- 
\  where  the  same,  rise  above  the  distinctions  of  nationality ;  and, 
1  in  the  second  place,  that  working  men  should  acquire  political 
I  rights  in  order  to  break  the  yoke  of  the  capitalists.     We  shall 
not  follow  Marx  throughout  his  active  career ;  to  do  so  would 
be  to  write  the   history  of  the  International,  which  we  shall 
approach  later  on.     It  is  only  his  ideas  that  we  wish  to  make 
known  here.     His  ^\^-itings  are   not  numerous.     In    1847  he 
published  a   very   trenchant  and   often  very  just  criticism  of 
Proudhon's  Contradictions  Economiques,  under  the  title,  Misere 
de  la  Philosophie,  Reponse  a  la  Philosophie  de  la  Misere,  par 
M.  Proudhon  (The  Want  of  Philosophy,  A  Reply  to  M.  Proud- 
hon's Philosophy  of  Want).     Marx  disliked  Proudhon,  although 
he  came  near  to  him  on  many  points.     In  1859  he  published 
"  A  Critique  of  Political  Economy,"  a  large  part  of  which  was 
reproduced  in  his  last  work.  Das  Kapital,  which  appeared  in 
1867.  t 

Marx's  whole  system  and  the  830  pages  of  closely  printed 

*  [Marx  died  on  the  14th  March,  1883.— T;-.] 
,  _t  The  second  edition  came  out  in  1873.  M.  J.  Roy's  French  trans- 
;  lation,  which  was  revised  and  completed  by  the  author,  appeared  in  parts 
I  in  1875.  The  work  has  been  translated  into  Russian.  [The  third  German 
(  edition  was  brought  out  by  Friedrich  Engels  in  1883.  An  Enghsh  trans- 
i  lation  is  promised  shortly,  which  will  include  the  unpublished  second 
part.-7>-.] 


KARL  MARX.  23 

matter  which  his  book  contains  have  for  their  aim  to  prove 
that  capital  is  necessarily  the  result  of  spoliation.     The  con-  'vf 
elusion  is,  at  Lotlom,  the  same  as  that   summed  up  in  the 
famous  aphorism  of  Brissot  and  of  Proudhon  :  "  Property  is 
Robbery."     Still,  whatever  bitter  words  Marx  may  from  time  to  ,, 
time  address  to  manufacturers  and  financiers,  he  does  not  mean 
to  apply  them  to  individuals ;  it  is  the  system  that  he  attacks. 
As  he  says  in  his  preface,  "  It  is  not  a  question  of  persons, 
except    so    far    as    they   are    the    embodiment    of   economic 
categories.     From  my  point  of  view,  according  to  which  the 
evolution  of  the  economic  system  of  society  may  be  likened  to 
the  evolution  of  Nature,  still  less  than  from  any  other,  can  the 
individual  be  held   responsible   for   social   conditions,    whose 
creature  he  must  remain,  however  he  may  strive  to  free  himself 
from  them."     Marx  evidendy  here  gives   utterance   to  those 
materialistic  doctrines,  so  widely  held  to-day,  which  deny  the 
freedom   and   responsibility  of   individuals   and    of   societies. 
Every   event,  every  individual  action,   is    only   the   result^^of 
inevitable  forces.     The  influence  a  writer  can  hope  to  exercise 
is,  therefore,  very  small ;  for  "  even  when  a   community  has 
succeeded  in  discovering  the  course  of  the  natural  law  that 
regulates  its  advance,  it  can  neither  avoid  the  phases  of  its 
natural  development  nor  abolish  them  by  decree,  but  it  can 
somewhat  abridge  their  periods  and  diminish  the   evils  that 
come  in  their  train."     Whatever  reservations  one  may  have  to  ] 
make  as  to  this  doctrine  of  fatalism,  which  is  not  even  carried ' 
to   its   logical   conclusion,    it   nevertheless   gives   a   very   just 
warning  to  revolutionary  dreamers  and  enthusiasts  who,  like  , 
those  of  the  eighteenth  century,  imagine  that  a  few  laws  would  ' 
suffice  to  suppress  all  the  evils  from  which  society  suffers,  and 
that  a  benevolent   decree   alone   is   needed   to  establish  the 
Golden  Age  upon  earth. 

We  shall  first  of  all  state  the  ideas  developed  in  this  strange 
book.  Das  Kapital,  without  discussing  them  in  detail.  It  is 
only  when  one  has  grasped  the  theory  as  a  whole  that  one  can 
understand  the  sophisms  upon  which  it  rests.  Marx  Tjases  his 
system  on  principles  formulated  by  economists  of  the  highest 
authority,  Adam  Smith,  Ricardo,  De  Tracy,  Bastiat,  and  the 


24  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

multitude  of  their  followers.  As  we  know,  in  reaction  against 
the  physiocrats  who  used  to  derive  all  wealth  from  nature, 
Smith  asserts  that  labour  is  the  sole  source  of  value,  fie 
even  wishes  to  make  labour  the  measure  of  values.  "  Labour 
alone,"  he  says,  "  is  the  ultimate  and  real  standard  by  which 
the  value  of  all  commodities  can  at  all  times  and  places  be 
estimated  and  compared — equal  quantities  of  labour,  at  a|l 
times  and  places,  may  be  said  to  be  of  equal  value  to  the 
labourer."  This  is  precisely  Bastiat's  idea,  when  he  affirms 
that  in  societies  it  is  services  that  are  always  exchanged  for 
services.  Almost  all  economists,  including  M.  Thiers,  who  on 
this  point  is  the  mouthpiece  of  the  generally  received  opinion, 
maintain  that  the  legitimate  source  of  property  is  labour. 
Admit  this  premiss,  and  Marx  will  prove  with  irrefutable  logic 
that  capital  is  the  product  of  spoliation.  In  short,  if  all  value 
proceeds  solely  from  labour,  the  wealth  produced  ought  to 
belong  entirely  to  the  labourers,  and  if  labour  is  the  only 
legitimate  source  of  property,  working  men  ought  to  be  the  only 
proprietors.  Those  Economists  who  look  upon  labour  as  the 
source  of  value  and  property  cannot  but  admit  the  reasoning 
of  Marx.  Like  Proudhon,  he  builds  up  his  deductions  on  a 
definition  of  value.  Let' us  follow  his  chain  of  syllogisms,  in 
which  one  may  recognize  a  disciple  of  Hegel.  It  is  worth 
while  trying  to  understand  these  abstractions  in  their  mathe- 
matical dress  when  we  reflect  that,  translated  into  common 
language  in  petty  socialist  journals,  they  have  become  the 
working  man's  catechism  throughout  Germany. 

The  wealth  of  communities,  under  the  regime  of  capitalist 
production,  appears  in  the  form  of  an  immense  accumulation 
of  merchandise.  Wares,  that  is  to  say  products  intended  for 
exchange,  are  the  elementary  form  of  wealth  in  modern  com- 
munities. Every  article  which  possesses  any  utility  has  "two 
Kinds  of  value.  It  is  valuable  in  so  far  as  it  answers  by  its 
properties  to  any  human  need.  That  is  its  "value  in  use," 
which  ends  in  the  consumption  of  commodities.  It  is  also 
valuable  in  so  far  as  it  permits  its  owner,  by  giving  it  up, 
to  obtain  some  other  article  which  he  desires.  That  is  its 
"value  in  exchange."     These  two  values  are  far  from  always 


KARL  MARX.  2$ 

corresponding.  Value  in  use  depends  solely  on  the  intensity 
of  the  need.  A  loaf  of  bread  which  can  feed  me  for  a  day- 
has  a  constant  value  as  an  article  of  consumption,  but  as  an 
article  of  exchange  it  varies  with  the  amount  of  the  harvest  | 
and  the  price  of  grain.  Glasses  which  suit  my  eyesight  may  < 
have  a  high  value  for  me,  while  perhaps  they  would  have  no 
value  in  exchange,  because  they  might  not  suit  any  other  eyes 
than  mine. 

As  regards  value  in  use,  all  articles  differ  from  one  another 
by  reason  of  their  qualities  and  the  wants  they  are  intended  to 
satisfy.  As  regards  value  in  exchange,  all  articles  have  in 
common  the  capability  of  being  bartered  one  for  the  other  or 
for  a  certain  sum  of  money.  In  respect  of  use,  it  would  be 
difficult  to  establish  a  relation  between  the  sheep  that  we  eat 
and  the  horse  that  we  ride ;  in  respect  of  exchange,  however, 
we  may  say  that  a  horse  is  worth  twenty  sheep,  if  for  a  horse 
we  get ^40,  and  for  a  sheep  ;Q2. 

In  primitive  communities,  as  in  India,   according   to  Sir 
Henry  Maine,  or  during  the  "Middle  Ages,  it  is  value  in  use 
that  is  principally  considered,  for  as   each  group  of  families 
produces  almost  all  they  consume,  there  is  very  little  buying 
and  selling.      Take  a  hamlet  under  Charlemagne,  or  a  village 
community  in  Russia  or  Servia  :  the  men  procure  the  articles  of 
food  and  the  textile  materials,  make  the  tools,  the  agricultural 
implements,  and  the  house  furniture,  while  the  women  prepare 
the  food  and  the  clothes,  spin  the  wool,  hemp,  and  flax,  and 
even  make  the  boots.     There  is  almost  no  exchange.     In  com- 
munities, when  division  of  labour  and  of  trades  has  taken  place, 
value  in  exchange  is  the  principal  thing ;  for  as  nobody  pro- 
duces  what   he   consumes,  each  must  sell   in  order   to  buy. 
Every  product  becomes  an  object  for  the  market,    and   the  ^ 
important  point  to  discover  is  what  it  is  that  gives  value  tojl 
these  objects  intended  for  exchange.     To  this  question  Marx;j 
does  not  hesitate  to  reply,  with  Adam  Smith  and  Ricardo,  that  y 
It  is  labour  alone.    ^ 

*  For  an  account  of  the  theories  of  Karl  Marx,  the  following  writers  may 
lie  consulted  : — Heinrich  von  Sybel,  Die  Lehren  des  hcniigcii  Socialismus  ; 
Eugen  Jaeger,  Der  Modernc  Socialismus  ;  Schajffle,  Der  Socialis?nus  und 


26  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

In  respect  of  value,  says  Marx,  commodities  intended  for 
exchange  are  merely  crystallized  labour.     The  unit  of  rabour 
is  an  average  day's  work,  which  varies  in  different  countries 
and  at  different  times,  but  which  may  be  considered  a  fixed 
quantity  in  a  given  community.     More  complicated  labour,  or 
work  which  demands  the  higher  faculties,  must  be  considered 
as  simple  labour  raised  to  a  higher  power.     A  useful  article, 
i  then,  possesses  value  only  because  it  represents  labour.     The 
i  things   most   necessary  to  existence,   air  and  water,  have  iji 
^  general  no  value,  because  they  can  be  obtained  without  labour. 
i         How,  then,  is  the  quantity  of  values  represented  by  an  article 
to  be  measured  ?     By  the  quantity  of  "  the  substance  creative 
of  value,"  that  is  to  say  of  labour,  that  it  contains.     The  quan- 
V  tity  of  labour  is  itself  measured  by  the  duration  of  the  labour, 
|:  by  days  and  hours.      Here  Marx  makes  a  correction  in  the 
jf  theory  of  Smith  and  Ricardo,  and  forestalls  an  objection.     It 
might,  in  fact,  be  said  that,  if  it  is  the  duration  of  the  labour  that 
creates  the  value  of  the  products,  a  coat  which  took  a  tailor 
twice  as  long  to  make  as  was  necessary,  would  therefore  be 
twice  as  valuable.     Not  so,  replies  Marx ;  the  measure  of  the 
value  of  things  is  the  duration  of  the  labour  on  the  average  re- 
quisite, performed  with  the  average  amount  of  skill  and  dili- 
gence, and  in  the  normal  industrial  conditions  at  any  giY(?n 
time.     If  with  the  aid  of  a  sewing  machine  a  shirt  can  be  made 
in  one  day,  that  will  be  the  measure  of  the  value  of  a  shirt,  and 
not  the  two  or  three  days  that  were  formerly  necessary.     Even 
thus  amended,  the  theory  which  makes  labour  the  source  of 
value  is  entirely  erroneous,  as  will  be  shown  later  on.    We  may 

if  here  remark  that,  like  all  abstractions,  these  averages  are  wanT-"" 
I  ing'in  scientific  exactness.  In  truth,  each  kind  of  labour  has 
its  own  value,  its  own  particular  character.  Is  the  day's  labour 
of  a  mason  of  precisely  the  same  value  as  that  of  a  carpenter, 
a  painter,  a  carver,  a  plumber,  or  a  common  labourer?  Clearly 
not.  How,  too,  can  they  be  compared  unless  by  the  wages 
that  each  of  these  workmen  receives  ?     It  must  be  admitted, 


der  Kapitalismus ;   Rud.   Meyer,    T>er  Emancipationskampf  des    vierten 
Standes ;  and  in  French,  the  short  but  soHd  study  of  M.  Maurice  Block, 


Les  Theoriciais  dii  Socialis7nc  en  Alkmagnc. 


tf** 


KARL  MARX.  2/ 

then,  that  all  wages  are  in  exact  proportion  to  the  value  of  the 
work  done.     But  this  is  precisely  what  Marx  disputes. 

From  these  premises,  our  author  concludes  that  labour 
becomes  more  productive  and  creates  more  utilities  all  to  no 
purpose,  it  does  not  produce  more  values.  In  fact,  if  labour 
measured  by  time  is  the  sole  source  of  value,  articles  manufac- 
tured in  greater  quantity  in  the  same  lapse  of  time,  all  put 
together,  represent  no  more  value,  because  each  individual 
article  is  worth  less.  By  the  strictly  logical  chain  of  these 
abstractions  we  arrive  at  this  singular  result,  that  all  the  inven- 
tions of  science,  all  the  improvements  of  manufacture,  produce 
more  utilities,  without  increasing  the  sum  total  of  values. 
Bastiat  had  expressed  a  similar  idea. 

Let  us  now  see  how  capital  arises.  According  to  Marx,  it 
is  by  no  means  from  thrift  or  abstinence,  as  "the  common 
Political  Economy  "  asserts.  Nor  is  it  any  more  from  exchange^ 
as  idle  people,  seeing  how  merchants  make  rapid  fortunes,  are 
apt  to  imagine.  In  fact,  exchange  is  normally  made  on  the 
footing  of  equality,  values  against  values ;  and  if  by  artifice  or 
skill  Paul  sells  to  Peter  for  ^5  a  commodity  worth  only  £,a^^ 
Paul,  it  is  true,  gains  ^i,  but  as  Peter  loses  it,  the  community 
is  none  the  richer,  no  new  value  is  created,  no  new  capital 
formed.  This  opinion,  developed  with  great  precision  by  J. 
B.  Say,  is  held  by  the  greater  number  of  Economists.  Never- 
theless, in  my  opinion,  it  is  not  well  founded.  Condillac  was  i 
right  when  he  asserted  that  in  every  exchange  both  parties  ||  V- 
gain,  because  each  obtains  the  object  which  suits  him  best.*  ||  ^-p^^^^  M;Uv{ 
A  lady,  he  says,  sells  some  acres  of  land  in  order  to  purchase 
a  cashmere  shawl,  and  is  astonished  at  obtaining  such  a  magni- 
ficent article  in  exchange  for  such  an  ugly  piece  of  meadow. 
Each  party  gets  what  he  wants,  and  is  thus  better  satisfied. 
Marx  and  J.  B.  Say  look  only  at  the  value  in  exchange, 
which,  perhaps,  does  not  increase  in  the  act  of  exchange, 
though  an  object,  on  the  approach  of  those  who  have  need  of 

*  See  "  Commerce  et  le  gouverneifient,"  by  Condillac,  Guillaumin's  edi- 
tion, p.  267.  This  little  work,  like  the  majority  of  those  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  contains  many  just  remarks,  expressed  with  great  clearness  and 
intelligence. 


11 


28  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

it,  does,  in  general,  immediately  acquire  an  extra  value ;  but  in 
my  view,  what  it  is  especially  necessary  to  consider  is  the  value 
in  use,  the  utility,  for  ultimately  everything  comes  to  that. 
Consumption  is  the  final  aim  of  the  production  and  circulatioii 
of  wealth.  Exchange  brings  everything  to  the  place  where  it 
answers  the  most  intense  needs — "  the  right  ware  in  the  right 
place  " — and  thus  it  creates  utilities  which  are  real  values. 

To  return  to  the  system  of  Marx,  capital,  according  to  him, 
comes  into  being  in  this  way.  The  future  capitalist  presents 
himself  on  the  market  of  commodities  provided  with  money. 
First  of  all  he  buys  machines,  tools,  raw  materials,  and  then, 
in  order  to  work  up  the  materials,  he  purchases  the  workman's 
"  labour-force,"  arbeitskraft,  the  sole  source  of  all  value.  He 
sets  the  labourer  to  work  to  change,  by  means  of  the  tools  and 
machines,  the  raw  materials  into  manufactured  articles,  and 
sells  them  for  more  than  they  cost  him  to  make.  In  this  way 
he  obtains  a  greater  value,  "  surplus  value  "  {meht-werth).  The 
money,  temporarily  transformed  into  wages  and  merchandise, 
reappears  under  its  original  form,  but  more  or  less  increased  in 
amount ;  it  has  brought  forth  young — capital  is  born. 

This  would  seem  to  conflict  with  the  principle  laid  ^own 
above,  that  exchange  does  not  create  new  value.  The  manu- 
facturer has  only  made  exchanges,  and  yet  he  finds  himself  in 
possession  of  a  greater  value.  The  explanation  of  the  mysterj' 
is  as  follows.  The  capitalist  pays  for  labour  its  exchange-value 
and  thus  obtains  its  value  in  use.  Labour-force  has  the  unique 
characteristic  of  producing  more  than  it  costs  to  be  produced. 
He  who  buys  it  and  sets  it  to  work  for  his  gain,  enjoys  then  the 
source  of  all  wealth.  The  capitalist  pays  for  labour  its  value. 
What  is  the  value  of  labour  ?  Like  all  other  merchandise,  it  is 
worth  what  it  costs  in  time  and  trouble  to  be  produced,  that  is 
to  say,  its  cost  of  production.  The  cost  of  production  of  labour 
is  the  food  and  different  commodities  necessary  to  support  the 
labourer  and  the  children  destined  to  succeed  him.  The  value 
of  all  these  commodities  is  measured  in  its  turn  by  the  time  that 
it  takes  to  produce  them.  In  short,  then,  according  to  Marx, 
the  value  of  labour  is  equivalent  to  the  sum  of  hours  required 
to  create  what  the  maintenance  of  the  labourer  demands.    This 


KARL  MARX.  29 

is  what  the  capitalist  has  to  pay  according  to  the  principles  of 
exchange. 

In   reality,    Marx   merely  explains   here,    in   other   terms, 
Ricardo's  law  of  wages.     According  to  the  English  economist, 
wages  on  the  average  always  tend  to  approach  that  which  is  indis-  \ 
pensable  for  the  existence  of  the  labourers  and  for  keeping  up  I 
their  number.     If  wages  fall  below  this  level,  the  less  fortunate 
working  men  die  of  privations,  and  then  the  demand  for  hands 
causes  wages  to  rise  to  the  normal  rate.     If  wages  exceed  this 
level,  the  number  of  labourers   increases,  and   the  increased 
supply  of  hands  causes  wages  to  fall.     The  average  cost  of 
the  maintenance  of  the  labourer  varies  in  different  countries, 
and  according  to  the  degree  of  civilization,  but,  whatever  it 
is,   it   constitutes    the    natural    price   of    labour,    its   cost   of 
production. 

Let  us  now  disclose  the  mystery  of  iniquity  whence  flows, 
according  to  the  German   Socialist,    the   terrible   contrast  of 
poverty  and  opulence,  pauperism  gaining  ground  as  capital  is 
amassed.      To   produce   the   commodities    necessary   for   the , 
existence  of  the  labourer  and  his  family  during  a  day,  a  whole 
day's  work  is  not    needed.     Marx   supposes   that   five  or  six   , 
hours  would  suffice.     If,  then,  the  labourer  worked  for  himself,  i| 
he  could  obtain  all  he  needed  in  a  half-day,  and  the  rest  of  his 
time  he  might  devote  to  leisure  or  to  procuring  superfluities"; 
but  the  slave  of  antiquity,  the  serf  of  the  Middle  Ages,  when 
gaining  his  freedom  in  the  existing  social  order,  did  not  at  the 
same  time  acquire  property.     He  is  therefore  obliged  to  place 
himself  in  the  service  of  those  who  possess  the  land  and  the 
instruments  of  production.     These   naturally  require   him   to  !' 
work  for  them  the  whole  day  of  twelve  hours  or  more.     In  six  : 
hours  the  labourer  produces  the  equivalent  of  his  subsistence  ;|j 
this  is  what  Marx  terms  "the  necessary  labour ;  "    during  the  ' 
remaining   six   hours   he   produces   the   "  surplus   value,"  the 
■;j!ehrtverth,    to   the    profit  of  his    employers.     The   capitalist 
pays  the  labourer  for  his  labour-power  at  its  value,  that  is  to 
say,  by  giving  him  the  amount  of  money  which,  representing  six 
hours'  labour,  permits  him  to  buy  the  necessaries  of  life ;  but 
as  he  thus  obtains  the  free  disposal  of  this  productive  force  for 


30  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

which  he  has  paid,  he  acquires  everything  it  produces  during 
the  entire  day.  He  therefore  exchanges  the  produce  of  six 
I  hours  against  the  labour  of  twelve  hours,  and  puts  iii^Tiis 
;  pocket,  as  net  profit,  the  produce  of  the  six  hours  beyond  tlie 
"  necessary  labour."  From  this  surplus,  pocketed  by  the 
employer,  capital  comes  into  being. 

The  capitalist  has  different  methods  of  increasing  his 
profits.  The  first  consists  in  multiplying  the  number  of  his 
workmen.  In  fact,  as  many  workmen  as  he  employs,  so  many 
times  does  he  pocket  the  product  of  the  six  supplementary 
hours  of  labour.  If  he  employs  only  one  workman^  bj  deduct- 
ing for  himself  the  product  of  half  a  day's  labour,  he  would 
obtain  only  the  bare  means  of  living,  like  the  workman  himself- 
If  he  employs  two,  he  would  have  for  his  own  consumption  the 
equivalent  of  what  two  workmen  consume.  The  second  method 
is  to  lengthen  the  working  day.  The  longer  the  labourer 
works  beyond  the  necessary  time  which  represents  his  wages, 
the  greater  the  profit  he  brings  to  his  master.  Marx  here 
shows  by  detailed  examples  borrowed  from  the  history  of 
manufacture  and  industrial  legislation  in  England,  that  capital 
and  machinery  necessarily  tend  to  prolong  the  working  day,  and 
that  in  order  to  arrest  them  in  this  course,  the  State  has  been 
obliged  to  interfere  with  successive  enactments  limiting  the 
hours  of  labour.  The  third  method  consists  in  diminishing 
the  duration  of  the  "necessary  labour."  If  the  workman  could 
produce  in  three  hours  what  he  needs  for  his  subsistence,  the 
cost  of  his  labour-power  would  be  diminished  by  one  half. 
The  capitalist  would  then  obtain  the  full  value  of  the  labour  of 
twelve  hours,  in  return  for  a  sum  of  money  equivalent  to  the 
labour  of  three  hours,  that  is  to  say,  for  half  the  wages.  This 
also  seems  to  accord  with  Ricardo's  law  :  if  the  workman's  cost 
of  maintenance  be  lowered,  wages  would  fall  proportionately. 
But  how  is  the  reduction  in.  the  cost  of  maintenance  to  be 
attained  ?  By  rendering  the  labour  which  creates  the  articles 
of  the  labourers'  consumption  more  productive.  As  hours  of 
labour  obtain  the  same  price,  no  matter  what  they  produce,  if 
twice  as  many  articles  can  be  made  in  the  hour,  each  article 
will  cost  one  half  less,  and  the  labourer  will  have  one  half  less 


KARL  MARX.  31 

to  spend  on  his  living ;  he  will  therefore  be  able  to  sell  his 
labour-force  for  a  remuneration  reduced  by  one  half. 

All  these  deductions  appear  to  be  irrefutable,  and  Ave  thus 
arrive^  at  tFis^ngular  conclusion,  that  the  more  the  employ- 
ment of  machines  and  of  improved  methods  increases  the 
productivity  of  labour,  the  lower  wages  fall  and  the  greater 
the  profits  of  the  capitalist  become. 

Capital  of  itself  does  not  create  value,  says  Marx.  The 
work  of  manufacture  only  reproduces  the  value  consumed.  If 
in  order  to  make  i  cwt.  of  cotton  yarn  5  qrs.  are  wanted, 
because  i  qr.  goes  in  waste,  in  the  cost  price  the  i  cwt.  will 
be  set  down  at  the  same  price  as  the  5  qrs.  If  five  shillings 
represents  the  wear  of  the  machine  and  ten  the  fuel,  these 
sums  must  also  be  added,  and  the  selling  price  must  be  such 
as  to  cover  them  completely.  "  The  machine  does  not  produce 
value ;  it  merely  transmits  its  own  value  to  the  articles  which 
it  serves  to  fabricate."  The  profit  must  then  proceed  exclu- 
sively from  labour,  the  sole  source  of  all  value. 

If  after  a  bad  harvest  the  price  of  cotton  or  corn  increases, 
although  the  labour  employed  in  their  cultivation  remains  the 
same,  the  reason  is  that  the  cost  of  this  same  amount  of  labour, 
being  divided  by  a  smaller  number  of  bushels,  gives  for  each 
bushel  a  larger  expenditure  of  labour.  If,  for  example,  by 
means  of  a  thousand  days  of  labour  I  obtain  a  hundred  bushels 
of  corn,  each  bushel  will  have  a  value  equivalent  to  ten  days  of 
labour ;  if  I  get  in  only  half  that  amount,  each  bushel  will  have 
a  value  equivalent  to  twenty  days  of  labour. 

In  short,  all  "  surplus  value  "  {inehrwerth),  under  whatever 
form  it  is  crystallized,  whether  as  interest,  rent,  or  profits,  is 
only  the  "materialization"  of  a  certain  duration  of  unpaid 
labour.  "The  mystery  of  productive  labour  resolves  itself 
into  this  fact,  that  a  certain  quantity  of  labour  is  employed 
without  being  paid  for."  "  By  itself  capital  is  inert :  it  is  dead 
labour  which  can  revive  only  by  sucking,  vampire-like,  the 
blood  of  living  labour,  and  which  lives  and  thrives  with  all  the 
more  vigour  the  more  blood  it  absorbs." 

According  to  Marx,  the  capitalist  regime  is  of  recent  origin.  ;  ;- 
It  dates  from  the  sixteenth  century,  when  the  large  proprietors^  ■ ; 


32  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

encroaching  little  by  little  upon  the  lands  of  the  small  farmers, 
drove  the  surplus  population  into  the  towns,  free  indeed,  but 
deprived  of  the  means  of  labour,  and,  consequently,  forced  to 
place  themselves  at  the  service  of  those  who  had  the  means 
of  labour  at  their  disposal.  The  suppression  of  individual 
handicrafts  and  the  invention  of  machinery  have  favoured  the 
development  of  the  large  industrial  system,  in  which  a  few 
capitalists,  becommg  more  and  more  powerful,  employ  an  ever- 
increasing  army  of  proletarians.  Every  augmentation  of  capital 
calls  for  a  proportionate  increase  in  the  number  of  w^orkmen. 
"  The  accumulation  of  w^ealth  at  one  pole  of  society  advances 
step  by  step  with  an  accumulation,  at  the  other  pole,  of  the 
poverty,  servitude,  and  moral  degradation  of  the  class  which, 
out  of  its  produce,  brings  capital  into  existence." 

As  we  read  Marx's  book  and  feel  ourselves  shut  up  within 
the  iron  bars  of  his  logic,  we  are,  as  it  were,  a  prey  to  ajijght- 
mare,  because,  having  admitted  his  premises,  which  are  borrowed 
from  the  most  undoubted  authorities,  we  know  not  how  to 
escape  from  his  conclusions,  and  because,  at  the  same  tirne, 
his  wide  and  solid  learning  enables  him  to  quote  in  support 
of  his  theses  striking  extracts  from  a  crowd  of  authors  and 
numerous  telling  facts,  drawn  from  Parliamentary  inquiries  and 
from  the  industrial  and  agricultural  history  of  England.  And 
yet,  when  we  go  to  the  bottom  of  the  matter  and  look  around 
us,  we  perceive  that  we  have  been  enveloped  in  a  skilful  tissue 
of  errors  and  subtleties,  intermingled  with  a  few  truths.  Never- 
theless, it  is  not  easy  to  release  ourselves,  and  if  we  admit  the 
theory  of  value  circulated  by  Smith,  Ricardo,  Bastiat,  and  Carey, 
we  cannot  do  so  without  contradicting  ourselves. 

M.  Maurice  Block  has  tried  to  refute  the  chief  basis  of 
Marx's  system,  which  consists  in  the  assertion  that  the  labourer 
produces  his  subsistence  by  the  work  of  only  a  part  of  the  day, 
while  the  other  part  is  monopolized  by  the  employer,  who  keeps 
the  fruits  of  it  for  himself  without  compensation.  The  fact 
alleged  by  Marx  is,  however,  incontestable.  It  is  perfectly  true 
that  the  employer  does  not  give  and  cannot  give  to  the  employe 
the  full  value  of  the  product,  for  if  he  did,  w^here  could  he 
obtain  the  means  of  paying  the  interest  on  his  capital,  the  rent 


M 


'  I 


KARL  MARX.  33 

of  his  land,  and  his  profits,  or  the  remuneration  for  his  risks  and 
enefgy?^  "  Proudhon,  Hke  Marx  and  long  before  him,  maintained 
that  the  destitution  of  the  lower  classes  proceeds  from  the  fact 
that  the  labourer  cannot  purchase  with  his  wages  what  he  pro- 
duces. The  remark  is  true,  but  the  fact  cannot  be  otherwise, 
unless  the  labourer,  like  the  peasant  proprietor,  should  work 
his  own  property,  being  at  the  same  time  owner  of  the  land, 
the  machines,  the  provisions  and  the  materials  necessary  for 
production.  If  he  has  to  borrow  these  different  agents,  he 
must  deduct  from  what  he  produces  the  means  of  paying  for  [| 
them,  for  nobody  will  lend  them  to  him  for  nothing.  If  it  i_s 
the  manufacturer  who  provides  them,  he  must  take  from  the 
total  produce  of  the  workman's  labour  what  will  pay  interest 
on  his  advances.  Who  would  accumulate  capital  or  employ  a 
single  labourer,  if  he  did  not  reap  any  profit  thereby  ? 

Like  Proudhon,  Marx  then  arrives,  but  without  admitting 
it,  at  the  often  refuted  chimera  of  gratuitous  credit. 

'  The  history  of  the  social  organizations  of  different  periods 
proves  that  the  deduction  of  a  portion  of  the  fruits  of  labour 
by  those  who  have  the  indispensable  requisites  of  productions  ':' 
at  their  disposal,  has  always  taken  place  under  one  form  or 
another.  Under  the  system  of  slavery,  the  slave-owner  received  ^' 
the  entire  produce  of  the  labour,  and,  giving  to  the  slave  what 
Avas  necessary  for  his  support  and  to  enable  him  to  perpetuate 
his  race,  kept  all  the  rest  for  himself.  It  was  as  though  the 
slave  worked  part  of  the  time  for  himself  and  the  rest  for  his 
master.  Under  the  regime  of  the  corvee,  the  peasant  worked 
two  or  three  days  on  the  land  of  his  lord  and  the  rest  of  the 
time  on  his  own.  He  was  half  enfranchised,  but  a  part  of  what 
he  produced  was  levied  on  behalf  of  the  signorial  demesne. 
With  the  metayer  system,  it  was  no  longer  the  labour  that  was 
divided  between  master  and  labourer,  but  the  products  of 
labour,  which  comes  in  the  end  to  the  same  thing.  Modern 
farming,  in  its  turn,  is  only  a  transformation  of  the  metayer 
system,  with  this  difference,  that  the  farmer  pays  the  land- 
owner's share  in  money.  Still  he  works  part  of  his  time  for 
his  own  subsistence  and  the  remainder  for  that  of  his  landlord, 
who  has  given  him  the  land.     In  the  wage-earning  classes  the 

D 


I 


34  T//E  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

same  fact  reappears.  For  part  of  the  day  the  workman  works 
to  obtain  the  equivalent  of  his  subsistence,  viz.  his  wages,  and 
during  the  remaining  time  for  the  capitahst.  The  fact  stated  by 
Marx  is,  then,  quite  true ;  but  it  is  not  by  economic  subtleties 
about  the  "  surplus  value  "  that  an  attack  is  to  be  made  on'  a 
partition  of  produce  which  results  from  the  laws  of  the  state 
and  from  the  whole  existing  social  organization.  You  can  rob 
a  man  of  his  property,  but  you  will  never  induce  him  to  give 
up  the  enjoyment  of  it  without  receiving  in  exchange  either 
services,  or  products,  or  money.  If,  like  Proudhon,  you  wish 
that  the  producer  were  able  to  purchase  his  product,  or  to  keep 
the  whole  of  it,  make  him  a  capitalist.  Already  in  France,  and 
to  a  greater  extent  in  Switzerland,  unlike  the  case  in  England, 
a  great  number  of  men,  possessing  land  and  instruments  of 
labour,  can  thus  sit  under  their  own  vine  and  keep  for  them- 
selves all  the  fruits  of  their  labour,  won  from  a  soil  which  owes 
nothing  to  anybody.  Advance  this  movement  by  spreading 
■  education  and  the  habit  of  thrift,  and  the  time  will  come  when 
jj  all  will  have  a  share  in  property,  either  landed  or  industrial, 
I  and  when  all  will  be  freed  from  the  tax  paid  to  capital,  because 
1  the  capital  will  be  their  own. 

Rent  is  a  natural  fact  and  interest  a  necessary  one.  You 
cannot  "therefore  abolish  them,  but  the  labourer,  by  acquiring 
ownership,  can  claim  them  for  himself. 

In  the  Middle  Ages,  in  the  trade-guilds,  the  artisan  working 
with  his  own  hands  was  owner  of  the  trade-capital,  the  instru- 
ments of  his  labour.  Accordingly,  he  retained  the  whole 
produce.  Some  similar  organization  should  be  revived,  but 
under  a  different  juridical  form. 

The  fundamental  error  of  Marx  lies  in  the  idea  he  con- 
ceives of  value,  which,  according  to  him,  is  always  in  propor- 
tion to  labour.  He  has  certainly  made  the  theory  of  Smith 
and  Ricardo  much  more  plausible  by  saying  that  the  value 
of  an  article  depends  on  the  amount  of  labour  "  socially 
necessary"  to  produce  it.  Thus,  a  chair  has  cost  you  three 
days'  labour ;  but,  on  the  average,  it  can  be  made  in  two  days. 
It  will  therefore  be  worth  only  the  equivalent  of  two  dajs' 
labour.     Even   thus   amended,  the   idea   is   false.     We  must 


KARL  MARX.  35 

insist  on  this  point :  it  is  the  essence  of  the  matter.     A  Uttle 

patience  in  following  these  discussions,  sometimes  dry  enougTi,  j, 

wilfbe  rewarded  when  Ave  reflect  that  they  concern  the  very     i,,  ^^^  t*t>*»^ 

foundations  of  the  social  order,  and  deal  with  questions  vehe-|J  -^ 

mently  debated  in  all  ranks  of  the  people  and  in  the  workshops 

of  the  two  hemispheres. 

The  following  facts  prove  that  value  is  not  proportionate  ij 
to  labour.     In  a  day's  hunting  I  kill  a  roebuck  and  you  a  hare.  H    ^ 
They  are  the  produce  of  equal  efforts  during  the  same  period ;  *|     ^ 
have" they  the   same  value?     No;   the  roebuck  will  feed  me 
for   five    days,  the    hare    for    only  one.     The    value    of   the 
former  will,  therefore,  be  five  times  greater  than  that  of  the 
latter.     The  wine  of  Chateau-Lafitte  is  worth  fifteen  shillings 
a  bottle,  and  that  of  the  next  vineyard  one  shilling,  and  ^'^%r,,yiM^' 
the  former  has  not  required  twice  as  much  labour  as  the  latter. 
The  corn   reaped  on  fertile  land  has  more  value  than  that 
which  comes  from  ungrateful  soil,  and  yet  it  has  cost  "  socially," 
that  is  to  say  ordinarily  and  always,  less  labour.     Butter  sells 
at  eighteenpence  per  pound,  and  yet    it   is  the  almost  spori-  i\  A  a^ 
taneous  product  of  the  grass  that  the  cow  grazes.     Thus  we 
sometimes  obtain  for  the  same  amount  of  effort  very  unequal 
values,  and  sometimes  equal  values  for  unequal  quantities  of 
labour.     Value,  then,  is  not  in  proportion  to  labour. 

Beyond  question,  labour  is  an  essential  element  of  value, 
but  wherever  scarcity,  that  is  to  say  natural  or  social  monopoly, 
intervenes — and  where  does  it  not?— labour  is  not  the  sole 
element. 

In  reality,  value  springs  from  utility.  We  estimate  things 
according  to  the  advantages  that  they  obtain  for  us.  An 
individual  good-for-nothing  is  a  worthless  fellow  {un  vaurien\. 
The  word  "value"  is  etymologically  connected  with  "valourj^"[|  \. 
for  there  was  a  time  when  men  were  valued  according  to  their  jj 
bravery.  To  utility,  we  must  add  as  a  condition  of  value, 
ra'rity.  Corn  is  very  useful,  but  it  has  no  great  value,  because 
it  is  very  abundant.  However,  if  we  examine  the  matter 
closely,  we  shall  see  that  rarity  is  only  a  form  of  utility.  The 
more  rare  an  article  is,  if  it  be  necessary  to  me,  the  more 
useful  to  me  will  be  its  possession.     If,  on  the  other  hand,  I 


36  777^  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

can  easily  replace  it,  because  it  is  found  everywhere,  the  utility 
of  possessing  it  will  be  very  small ;  it  will  be  equal,  in  fact,  to 
the  trouble  involved  in  procuring  a  similar  article. 
^^  Water,  it  is  said,  is  of  the  highest  utility,  and  yet  it  has 
I  ('no  value;  therefore  it  is  not  utility  that  makes  value.  This 
li  objection,  always  repeated,  depends  on  an  ambiguity  of  language 
^  which  has  never  been  exposed,  because  it  sounds  very  plausible. 
!  The  mistake  lies  in  this  :  by  water  in  the  first  sense  is  meant 
water  in  general,  the  element,  and  in  this  sense  it  is  of  the 
greatest  utility,  but  it  is  also  of  the  greatest  value ;  for  a  person 
lost  in  the  desert,  a  besieged  town,  a  country  ruined  by  drought, 
would  give  anything  to  obtain  some  water.  When  it  is  said 
that  water  has  no  value,  a  Specific  portion  of  water  is  intended ; 
and  in  this  sense  it  has  also  very  little  utility.  What  is  the 
value  of  a  pail  of  water  at  the  river  bank  ?  Nothing  beyond 
the  trouble  of  fetching  it.  At  the  fourth  story  of  a  house  it 
is  worth,  perhaps,  a  penny  or  two,  representing  the  pay  of  the 
servant  who  has  carried  it  up.  In  the  middle  of  Sahara,  to 
the  traveller  who  cannot  at  any  price  obtain  it  elsewhere,  it 
would  be  worth  all  the  money  in  the  world.  Thus  its  value 
would  increase  in  the  measure  of  its  scarcity  or  in  proportion 
to  the  difficulty  of  replacing  it.  We  may  say,  then,  using  words 
in  their  usual  sense,  that  an  article  has  so  much  the  more 
value  the  more  useful  it  is,  whether  as  answering  to  an  existing 
want,  or  as  dispensing  with  the  expenditure  of  money  or  labour 
necessary  to  procure  a  similar  article. 

All  value  presupposes  some  labour,  for  a  man  must  at  least 
gather  the  fruit  that  nature  offers  to  him  ;  but  the  value  is  not 
in  proportion  to  the  labour,  for  if  he  picks  a  nut  he  will  have 
a  much  less  valuable  article  than  if  he  detaches  a  branch  of 
bananas. 

Marx  asserts  that  the  value  of  the  labour-force  {arbeitskraft) 
of  the  wage-earner  is  equal  to  the  cost  of  its  production,  that 
is  to  say  to  the  maintenance  of  the  labourer,  and  consequently 
to  the  hours  of  labour  "socially"  necessary  for  the  repro- 
duction of  this  maintenance.  If  that  be  so,  it  is  not  easy  to 
see  why  Marx  should  attack  capital,  inasmuch  as  it  pays  labour 
at  its  just  value  in  giving  it  the  "  necessary  wages  "  of  Ricardo. 


KARL  MARX. 


0/ 


The  truth  is  that  the  value  of  labour  is  like  that  of  everything 
else^  in  proportion  to  its  utility.     In  a  glass  manufactory  the 
stoker  receives  three  shillings  a  day,  the  glass-blower  five,  six, 
or  eight  shillings,  the  skilled  engraver  ten  to  twelve  shillings ;  | 
diamond-cutters   at   Amsterdam   gain    twenty   to    twenty-four  I 
shillings.     The  cost  of  maintenance  of  these  different  classes 
of  workmen  is  pretty  nearly  the  same ;  but  the  value  of  their 
labour,  and  consequently  of  their  produce,  differs  greatly,  and 
it  is  the  higher  in  proportion  as  their  abilities  are  more  scarce 
and  in  greater  request.     Suppose  I  want  to  get  up  from  the 
bottom  of  a  well  a  chesf  containing  two  cwts.  of  silver.     Alone, 
I    cannot   do    it.     Somebody  comes,    but   will   not   help   me 
except  on  condition  of  sharing  the  contents  of  the  chest.     I 
I  cannot  get  aid  elsewhere  I  will  consent  to  the  bargain,  for 
I  still  find  in  it  a  great  advantage.     In  this  case,  the  produce 
of  a  day's  labour  would  have  been  for  each  of  the  partners 
one  cwt.  of  silver.     The  value  of  labour  for  the  employer  is 
then  equal  to  the  profit  he  makes  out  of  it,  and  if  he  is  com- 
pelled by  the  scarcity  of  hands,  that  is  also  what  he  can  give 
as  wages ;   but,  on  the  other  hand,  if  the  workman  is  forced 
by  the  competition  of  his  class  to  give  his  labour  at  any  price, 
he  can  content  himself  with  what  suffices  for  his  maintenance. 
The  remuneration   of  wages,  then,   will   fluctuate  between  a 
maximum   equivalent   to   the   value   of  what   it  creates,    less 
interest  and  rent,  and  a  minimum  corresponding  to  the  neces- 
sary cost  of  maintenance.      The  law  of  supply  and  demand 
will  determine  the  oscillations  between  these   two  extremes. 
From  what  has  gone  before,  it  results  that,  the  more  productive 
labour  becomes,  the  more  its  remuneration  may  be  raised,  if 
the  supply  of  hands  does  not  lower  wages.     When  this  surplus 
value,  resulting  from  an  increase  of  production,  does  not  remain 
in  the  hands  of  the  wage-earner,  it  is  not,  as  Marx  says,  the 
capitalist  who   "pockets  it."     Competition    soon  reduces  his 
profits  by  lowering  prices  as  much  as  possible,  and  in  the  last 
analysis  it  is  the  consumers  who  benefit  by  industrial  improve- 
ments. 

One  of  the  odd  things  about  Das  Kapital  is  that  it  never 
disciisses  the   influence  exercised   by  competition,  that   ever 


U^  tJ-.'' 


J,'>4JJ!f-: 


1 


i««*4A.iUl^»l'.  y^i"  ■-■  V  KB'fbUV  »■( 


38  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

^v^  active  equalizing  agent  for  profits,  wages,  rent,  and  interest.  This 
^  is  reserved,  it  appears,  for  the  second  volume,  never  published ; 
but  this  method  of  successive  analyses,  admissible  in  mathe- 
matics, where  one  speculates  about  abstract  data,  gives  entirely- 
false  results  when  applied  to  Political  Economy,  which  is  con- 
cerned with  facts.  To  affect  to  give  a  just  idea  of  economic 
phenomena,  without  speaking  of  competition,  which  is  in 
general  their  impelling  force,  is  like  attempting  to  explain  the 
terrestrial  system  while  omitting  gravitation,  which  is  its  moving 
power. 

Another  error  of  Marx  consists  in  asserting  that  capital  is 
dead  labour,  which  revives  and  grows  fat  only  at  the  expense 
of  living  labour.  Without  doubt  the  products  of  former  labour 
applied  to  a  new  production — for  instance,  machines — are  not 
endowed  with  life.  In  themselves  they  are  inert ;  but  if, 
owing  to  them,  the  same  muscular  efforts  can  produce  more 
articles  of  utility,  may  we  not  say  that  they  are  productive  ?  A 
man  armed  with  a  steel  axe  will  do  ten  times  more  work  than 
a  savage  with  his  flint  axe.  Both  tools  are  evidently  inert; 
but  if  with  the  former  we  obtain  much  more  produce  than 
with  the  latter,  ought  we  not  to  put  it  down  to  the  superiority 
of  the  steel  instrument  ? 

In  order  to  prove  that  capital  does  not  produce,  v^lue, 
Marx~sho"WS  that  if  by  means  of  a  new  machine  one  can 
manufacture  twice  as  many  articles,  each  of  these  articles  TSeing 
worth  only  half  as  much  as  before,  the  total  value  remains  die 
same.  This  is  plausible,  but  false ;  for  the  goal  to  attain  is 
the  multiplication  of  useful  articles  quite  irrespective  of  their 
money  value.  The  value  in  use  is  the  important  point.  If 
with  a  better  instrument  I  obtain  twice  as  many  goods,  I  am 
really  twice  as  rich;  for  my  comforts  being  doubled,  I  have 
produced  a  double  amount  of  real  value. 

As  Bastiat  well  remarks,  whenever  we  change  "  onerous 
values  for  gratuitous  values  "  humanity  is  enriched.  If  all  the 
necessaries  of  existence  were  as  abundant  as  air  and  water, 
their  intrinsic  value,  that  is  to  say,  their  capacity  to  satisfy  our 
wants,  would  be  in  no  way  diminished.  They  would  exchange, 
it  is  true,  against  very  much  less  money,  and  their  money  value 


KARL  MARX.  39 

would  almost  entirely  disappear ;  but  what  of  that  ?  Capital 
and  machinery  operate  in  this  way.  They  multiply  useful 
objects  and  diminish  the  cost  of  their  production.  They  thus 
contribute  enormously  to  the  growth  of  well-being ;  they  are  ; 
then  essentially  productive  of  wealth  ;  for,  as  Voltaire  has  very  ' 
well  said,  "  Wealth  consists  in  the  abundance  of  useful  or 
agreeable  things." 

What  is  it  that  has  freed  man  from  want  and  made  him  the 
master  of  the  world?  Not  muscular  strength.  The  savage 
who  wallows  in  the  most  degrading  destitution  wields  as  much 
strength  as  the  civilized  man.  No ;  it  is  intellectual  power 
which,  embodied  in  machines  and  in  scientific  processes, 
creates  twenty  times  more  utilities  for  the  same  sum  of  effort. 
Marx,  measuring  all  values  by  the  average  amount  of  labour 
that  they  have  cost,  would  keep  the  whole  product  for  the 
labourer,  leaving  nothing  whatever  for  the  person  who  brings 
to  the  joint  work  capital  and  intelligence,  that  is  to  say,  the 
principal  producer.  See  to  what  flagrant  injustice  and  manifest 
absurdity  an  imperfect  analysis  leads !  If  you  do  not  re- 
munerate the  head  of  the  business  exceptionally  well,  you  will 
havelTinarL  who  will  turn  out  dishonest  or  incapable,  and  you  |i  ^  ^  / 

will  lose  your  property.     Whenever  co-operative  societies  have  ' 
failed,  it  has  always  been  through^tlie  fault  of  the  managers. 
■    "in   fine,    we   may   say   that   the   mighty   and    pretentious 
attempt  of  Marx  to  overturn  the  foundations  of  existing  society, 
while  relying  on  the  veryjprinciples  of  Political  Economy,  has 
failed,    because   he   has   only   strung   together   a   number   of 
abstract  formulas,  without  ever  going  to   the  root   of  things. 
Nevertheless,  all   those — and  they  are   still   numerous — who 
admit  the  theories  of  Ricardo  and  Bastiat  on  labour,  will  be 
unable  to  escape  from  the  conclusions  of  the  German  Socialist 
without  inconsistencies.     His  deductions  are  perfectly  logical ; 
it  is  the  starting-points  of  his  reasonings,  which  he  has  borrowed  'j 
from  the  most  orthodox  economists,  that  are  false.  'i 

If  we  compare  the  theoretical  Socialists  of  Germany  with 
those  of  France,  what  a  contrast  we  find  !  The  former  are 
incomparably  more  learned.  As  Lassalle  said  of  himself,  they 
are  armed  with  all  the  science  of  our  times  ;  but  they  use  it  to 


{-.f 


40  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

demonstrate  dry  abstractions.  They  lack  the  great  spiritual 
breath  of  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth' centuries.  They 
never  invoke,  like  the  heroes  of  the  Reformation  or  of  the  French 
Revolution,  those  great  principles  of  truth,  right,  and  justice 
which  touch  the  hearts  of  men.  It  is  not  by  splitting  haTrs 
with  dialectics,  razor-sharp  though  they  be,  that  the  way  is  to 
be  prepared  for  a  social  transformation. 

Bound  to  the  earth  by  their  materialistic  doctrines,  they 
present  us  with  no  ideal  to  be  realized.  All  that  exists  is,  for 
them,  the  result  of  necessary  laws  which  govern"  Hman 
societies  as  immutably  as  celestial  bodies.  The  French 
Socialists  are  often  ignorant,  simple,  and  tricked  by  their  own 
fancies.  Proudhon  himself,  in  spite  of  his  vigour  of  mind,  had 
received  only  an  incomplete  and  ill-digested  education.  But 
they  are  all  human ;  they  dream  of  universal  happiness  in  their 
own  way.  They  are,  in  fact,  mistaken  philanthropists.  In  spite 
of  their  errors,  or  even  their  insanities,  they  have  a  noble  aim  : 
to  bring  about  the  reign  of  brotherhood  among  men.  They 
are  Utopian  dreamers  who  have  always  condemned  the  violent 
acts  of  the  Jacobins,  which  the  German  Socialists,  dry  and 
hard  as  a  syllogism,  are  ready  to  renew. 

How  superior  is  Christianity,  considered  merely  from  the 
point  of  view  of  a  social  reform,  to  all  these  systems,  in  which 
either  true  charity  or  a  just  appreciation  of  facts  is  wanting  ! 
An  infinite  tenderness  for  the  oppressed  pervades  the  Gospel, 
together  with  a  sublime  sentiment  of  social  justice.  The 
essential  truth  which  rises  from  the  whole  teaching  of  Christ  is 
that  no  improvement  is  possible  without  first  making  man  him- 
self better.  Moral  renovation  !  There  is  the  source  of  all  true 
progress.  It  is  not  by  the  criticism  of  economic  doctrines, 
however  keen  it  may  be,  nor  by  a  new  form  of  association,  be 
it  phalanstery  or  co-operative  society,  that  we  shall  heal  the 
maladies  of  the  existing  social  system. 

It  was  by  spreading  throughout  all  ranks  of  society  more 
light  and  a  higher  morality  that  Christianity  burst  the  bonds  of 
slavery.  It  will  be  through  the~  same  moral  influences  that 
poverty  will  cease.  No  doubt,  "  the  poor  shall  we  always  have 
with  us,"  because  there  will  always  be  some  incorrigibly  idle 


KARL  MARX.  4 1 

people,  and,  as  St.  Paul  says,  "  if  a  man  work  not  neither  shall  //•  2 . 
he  eat ; "  but  as  the  upper  classes  learn  to  know  their  duties 
better  and  to  fulfil  them  better,  as  the  working  men,  becoming 
better  educated,  more  moral,  less  slaves  to  their  senses,  attain 
by  labour  and  thrift  to  the  possession  of  property,  as  science 
goes  on  increasing  the  productivity  of  the  agricultural  and 
industrial  arts,  pauperism  and  the  extreme  forms  of  destitution 
will  disappear — so  far,  at  least,  as  they  reach  a  whole  class  of 
families  and  form  one  of  the  sores  of  our  social  order. 


42        "  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  V. 

FERDINAND      LASSALLE. 

«.  2 . ';  y7ERDINAND  LASSALLE  is  looked  upon  by  his  disciples 
X~^  as  the  Messiah  of  Socialism.  During  his  life  they 
listened  to  him  as  to  an  oracle,  and  after  his  death  thej 
venerated  him  as  a  demi-god.  To  them  he  is  the  object  of 
a  real  worship.  In  1874  they  celebrated  the  tenth  anniversary 
of  the  day  upon  which  he  was  taken  from  them,  with  cere- 
monies which  seemed  like  the  rites  of  a  new  religion.  Thej 
do  not  hesitate  even  to  compare  him  to  Christ,  and  thej 
believe  that  his  doctrines  will  transform  existing  society  as 
Christianity  has  renovated  the  ancient  world. 

Lassalle  did  not,  indeed,  reveal  to  the  world  any  new 
truth.  He  only  popularized  ideas  borrowed  from  Louis  Blaiic, 
Proudhon,  Rodbertus,  and  above  all,  Karl  Marx.  But  it  is 
V  incontestable  that  it  was  the  energy  of  his  style,  the  rigour  of 
his  polemics,  and  to  a  still  greater  degree  his  eloquence  and 
personal  influence,  which  brought  Socialism  from  the  regions  of 
dreamy  philanthropy  and  obscure  books,  little  read  and  under- 
stood, to  throw  it  like  a  firebrand  of  strife  and  dispute  on  the 
public  streets  and  into  the  workshops.  In  two  years  his 
burning  words  and  fiery  pen  had  stirred  all  Germany  and 
created  the  democratic  sociaUst  party.  He  exercised  a  fa.scina- 
tion  like  Abelard,  charming  women  and  inflaming  crowds. 
He  traversed  the  country,  young,  handsome,  and  eloquent, 
"drawing  the  hearts  of  all  after  him,"  and  left  everywhere 
enthusiastic  disciples  and  admirers  who  formed  the  nucleus  of 
working  men's  societies.     There  is  no  example  in  our  times  of 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  43 

an  influence  so  great  and  so  extended^  acquired  in  so^short 
ajieriod.  '     ■""■"" 

Ferdinand  Lassalle,  like  Karl  Marx,  was  of  Jewisli  origin,* 
and  was  born  at  Breslau  on  the  nth  of  April,  182 q.  His 
father,  a  wholesale  dealer,  wished  him  to  follow  the  same 
business.  After  having  brilliantly  terminated  his  classical 
studies  at  the  college  of  his  native  town,  he  was  sent  to  the 
commercial  school  of  Leipsic ;  but  utterly  disgusted  with  this 
class  of  study,  he  entered  the  university  and  occupied  himself 
with  philology,  philosophy,  and  law.  His  attention  was  early 
attracted  by  economic  facts ;  for  he  relates  in  his  book, 
Bastlai-Schultze,  that  at  the  age  of  twelve  he  was  astonished  /, 
to  find  his  mother  and  sister  buying  in  retail  shops  the  same 
goods  his  father  sold  wholesale.  At  the  university  he  became! 
an  enthusiastic  admirer  of  Fichte,  and  above  all  of  Hegel,  who 
was  his  master  in  the  high  regions  of  thought.  In  politics  he 
adopted  the  ideas  of  Young  Germany,  and  ranged  himself  on 
the  side  of  the  most  radical  democrats,  already  known  by  the 
name  of  "  revolutionaries." 

His  university  studies  finished,  he  took  up  his  abode  on 
the   banks    of  the  Rhine,  and  continued  the  works  he   had 
begun.     He  had  conceived  the  project  of  writing  the  history  1 
of  the  Ionic  school  of  ancient  philosophy ;  and  in  order  to  j 
collect  materials,  and  also  to  breathe  the  air  of  the  great  city  I 

*  The  Jews  have  been  nearly  everywhere  the  initiators  or  the  propa- 
gators orSbcialism.  The  reason  is  plain.  Socialism  is  an  energetic  protest 
against  the  iniquitous  basis  of  the  actual  order  of  things,  and  an  ardent 
aspiration  towards  a  better  system  where  justice  would  reign  supreme. 
Now  this  is  precisely  the  foundation  of  the  Judaism  of  Job  and  the" 
Prophets,  and  of  that  aspiration  towards  a  Messiah  whence  Christianity 
arose.  M.  Renan  shows  this  clearly  in  the  preface  of  his  recent  translation 
of  Ecclesiastes. 

"  The  Jew  is  not  resigned  like  the  Christian.  To  the  Christian,  poverty 
and  humility  are"  virtues,- whiie -to  thB-J^wllIey  are  iiiisTortune's  td 'be 
avoided.  Abuse  and  violence,  which  find  the  Christian  calm,  enrage  the 
Jew.  Hence  it  is  that  the  Israelite  element  has  in  our  time  become  an  in- 
fluence of  reform  and  progress  in  all  countries  where  it  is  to  be  found.  The 
Saint-Simonism  and  the  industrial  and  financial  mysticism  of  our  days  are, 
in  part  at  least,  derived  from  it.  In  the  revolutionary  movements  of 
France,  the  Jewish  element  played  an  important  part." 

Iq  the  Jewish  conception  of  the  world,  it  is  here  below  that  the  greatest 
possible  amount  of  justice  should  be  realized.  From  which  it  follows  that 
present  social  arrangements  should  be  at  all  hazards  radically  changed. 


44  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

where  at  that  time  all  the  new  ideas  took  their  rise,  in  1845  he 
visited  Paris. 

,  He  was  cordially  received  by  Heine,  who  was  greatly 
drawn  to  him  from  the  similarity  of  their  origin,  their  thoughts, 
and  the  turn  of  their  minds.  Nevertheless  the  poet,  whose 
sharp  penetration  went  to  the  bottom  of  all  characters,  perfectly 
judged  his  brilliant  countryman  in  a  letter  of  introduction  to 
Varnhagen  von  Ense  :  "  My  friend,  Herr  Lassalle,  who  is  the 
bearer  of  this  letter,  is  a  young  man  of  the  most  remarkable 
intellectual  gifts.  He  joins  a  strength  of  will  and  a  dexterity 
of  action  which  are  fairly  astonishing,  to  the  profoundest  learn- 
ing, the  widest  knowledge,  and  the  quickest  penetration  I  have 
ever  met  with.  He  is  a  true  child  of  the  new  era,  knowing 
nothing  of  that  modesty  and  self-abnegation  which  we  of  the 
old  school  affect  with  more  or  less  hypocrisy.  He  belongs  to 
a  new  generation  who  desire  to  enjoy  and  to  rule."  Heine 
compares  Varnhagen  and  himself  to  grave-diggers  charged 
with  the  burial  of  the  past,  and  to  poor  hens  who,  having 
hatched  duck's  eggs,  are  amazed  to  see  their  ducklings  take 
to  the  water  with  such  joy. 

At  Berlin,"  where  Lassalle  wished  to  establish  himself  as 
2i  privat  docent,  he  became  acquainted  with  all  the  literary,  arid 
scientific  world,  which  received  him  most  cordially.  Humboldt 
in  particular  took  him  into  especial  friendship,  calling  him 
the  "Youthful  Prodigy"  {Das  Wunderkind).  He  recom- 
mended him  to  his  colleagues  of  the  Institute  of  France,  when 
Lassalle  made  his  second  journey  to  Paris.  Meantime,  Lassalle 
continued  his  book  on  Heraclitus,  which,  however,  did  not 
appear  until  nine  years  later. 

About  this  time,  towards  the  end  of  1845,  he  met  at  Berlin 
a  person  who  exercised  a  decided  influence  over  his  fate.  The 
Countess  Sophie  von  Hatzfeld,  nee  Princess  von  Hatzfeld,  was 
engaged  in  a  lawsuit  with  her  husband.  After  some  years 
passed  quietly  in  their  hereditary  chateau  on  the  banks  of  the 
,  Sieg,  or  in  their  house  in  Dusseldorf,  the  incompatibility  of 
i  their  tempers  had  brought  about  a  separation  between  them, 
and  the  countess  was  suing  for  a  pension  proportional  to  her 
rank  and  fortune.     She  was  extremely  quick-witted  and  elo- 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  45 

quent,  and  had  great  independence  of  character.  She  eagerly 
occupied  herself  with  the  political  and  social  questions  of  the 
day,  not  shrinking  from  the  boldest  ideas.  Lassalle,  who 
resembled  her  in  more  than  one  respect,  attached  himself  to 
her  from  the  first,  and  swore  to  obtain  her  rights  for  her. 
Here  must  be  related  a  strange  incident,  which  his  enemies 
have  often  cited  against  him  as  a  crime. 

'The  Baroness  Meyendorf,  who  was  very  intimate  with 
Count  Hatzfeld,  had  just  left  him  and  was  stopping  at  Cologne. 
She  had  with  her  a  casket,  in  which  Madame  Hatzfeld  believed 
were  enclosed  certain  documents  of  great  importance  in  her 
lawsuit.  Two  friends  of  Lassalle,  Mendelssohn  and  Oppen- 
heim  by  name,  got  into  Madame  Meyendorfs  room  at  the 
Hotel  Mainzer  Hof,  and  carried  off  the  casket,  which,  as  it 
turned  out,  contained  only  jewels.  When  prosecuted  for  this 
abstraction,  Mendelssohn  was  condemned  and  Oppenheim  was 
acquitted.  Lassalle  being  tried  as  accomplice  and  adviser, 
pleaded  his  own  defence  in  an  eloquent  speech  wherein 
Socialism  clearly  transpired.  Found  guilty  by  the  jury,  but 
only  by  a  majority  of  seven  to  five,  the  magistrates,  who  in 
this  case  had  to  pronounce  judgment,  acquitted  him,  on  the 
ground  that  the  abstraction  of  the  casket  had  not  taken  place 
by  his  orders,  but  only  as  a  consequence  of  his  suit  against  the 
baroness.     This  happened  in  August,  1848. 

As  he  belonged  to  the  Dusseldorf  bar,  he  continued  to 
conduct  the  Hatzfeld  case,  but  it  was  only  in  1854  that  he 
brought  it  to  an  end  on  terms  very  favourable  to  the  countess. 
During  the  same  time  he  threw  himself  eagerly  into  the  poli- 
tical movements  of  this  stormy  period.  He_  wrote  in  Karl 
Marx's  paper,  the  JVeue  Rheinische  Zeituiig,  along  with  En^els, 
Freiligrath,  Schapper,  Wolff,  and  other  less  noted  writers. 

These  literary  labours,  however,  were  not  enough  for  him  ; 
his  ardent  temperament  urged  him  to  action.  On  the  occasion 
of  the  conflict  between  the  Prussian  Chamber  and  the  Minister 
Manteufifel  at  Berlin,  he  endeavoured  to  organize  resistance  at 
Dusseldorf  against  the  coup  d'etat  by  uniting  the  working  men 
and  the  bourgeoisie i  and  when  a  few  representatives  did  refuse 
to  vote  the  taxes,  he  tried  to  affix  seals  to  the  coffers  of  the 


li 


46  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

State.  With  several  other  influential  citizens  of  that  town,  he 
formed  a  committee  of  resistance,  and  issued  proclamations 
calling  on  the  people  to  collect  money  and  arms  in  order  to 
oppose  the  government.  In  November,  1848,  when  General 
Drigalski  proclaimed  a  state  of  siege  in  Dusseldorf,  he  was 
arrested  along  with  Cantador,  head  of  the  citizen  guard,  and 
tried  for  having  instigated  civil  war.  It  was  not  until  the  3rd 
of  May,  1 849,  that  he  appeared  before  the  Court  of  Assizes, 
when  he  defended  himself  with  a  boldness  and  an  eloquence 
that  made  a  deep  impression  upon  the  jury.  He  fearlessly 
invoked  the  principle  of  the  French  Revolution,  the  sovereignty 
of  the  people.  "  I  have  neither  the  desire  nor  the  right  to  be 
acquitted,"  he  exclaimed,  "  unless  you  admit  a  resort  to  arms 
as  the  right  and  duty  of  the  people."  Like  Robespierre,  he 
scorched  with  his  burning  irony  the  partisans  of  "  passive 
resistance."  "  That  is  the  act  of  men  who  feel  clearly  the  duty 
of  resistance,  but  at  the  same  time  are  too  cowardly  to  imperil 
their  lives  in  the  matter.  The  crown  confiscates  the  liberties 
of  the  entire  nation,  and  what  does  the  National  Assembly  of 
Prussia  decree?  Its  displeasure !  It  is  impossible  to  under- 
stand how  an  assembly  composed  of  the  people's  representa- 
tives can  descend  to  such  puerilities." 

He  was  acquitted  at  the  Assizes,  but  was  prosecuted  in  the 
police  court  for  resistance  to  the  police,  and  condemned  to  six 
months'  imprisonment.  He  employed  the  time  in  going 
deeply  into  social  questions.  Almost  every  evening  a  work- 
man named  Kichniawy  used  to  come,  after  his  day's  work,  and 
talk  with  him  on  these  subjects  till  far  into  the  night. 

When  liberated,  he  threw  himself  eagerly  into  the  studyjjf 
\).  the  epoch  of  the  Reformation  in  Germany.  He  wished  to  un- 
*^  derstand  how  it  was  that  the  religious  wars  had  weakened  his 
country  by  dividing  it,  and  thus  to  discover  the  best  means 
of  reconstituting  its  unity.  There  resulted  from  these  studies 
a  drama  entitled  Franz  von  Sickingen,  mediocre  as  far  as 
literary  merit  goes,  but  curious  as  a  political  essay.  He  there 
unfolds  the  idea,  afterwards  reproduced  by  Prince  Bismarck,' 
that  great  historical  changes  are  always  accomplished  by  "  fire 
and  sword."     He  was  a  fanatic  on  the  subject  of  German  unfty. 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  4/ 

In  1859  he  published  a  pamphlet  entitled  "The  Italian  War 
and  the  Mission  of  Prussia."  In  it  he  exhibited  to  the 
dernocracy  of  Germany  the  very  plan  of  campaign  that  Prince 
Bismarck  submitted  to  the  King  of  Prussia,  and,  as  Chancellor, 
put  into  execution  seven  years  afterwards. 

Alarmed  by  the  victories  of  the  French  arms  in  Lombardy, 
the  King  of  Prussia,  it  may  be  remembered,  was  on  the  point 
of  marching  an  army  on  the  Rhine  in  response  to  the  urgent 
appeals  of  the  Emperor  of  Austria.  "Absurd  policy  !  "  exclaimed 
Lassalle.  "  Let  not  our  hatred  of  despotism  blind  us.  Napo- 
leon III.  is  fighting  the  battle  of  democracy  and  of  Germany. 
In  favouring  the  construction  of  Italian  unity  he  is  hastening  the 
birth  of  German  unity.  Austria  is  the  deadly  and  irreconcilable 
foe  of  a  united  Germany.  Prussia  should  therefore  ally  herself 
with  France  against  Austria,  and  should  profit  by  this  alliance 
to  gather  all  the  German  nations  together  under  her  hegemony." 

Lassalle  even  made  a  journey  to  Italy,  in  company  with 
the  Countess  Hatzfeld,  in  order  to  see  Garibaldi  and  to  urge 
him  to  march  on  Vienna,  so  that  Italian  and  German  unity 
might  both  arise  on  the  ruins  of  Austria.  The  King  of  Prussia, 
faithful  to  his  ally  of  the  Confederation,  did  not  relish  these 
ideas,  although  they  were  urged  upon  him  by  Bismarck  ;  and 
Napoleon  III.  was  forced  to  make  the  peace  of  Villafranca.  In 
1866,  however,  Lassalle's  programme  was  realized  step  by  step. 
His  friends  the  democrats  opposed  him,  understanding  him  no 
better  than  King  William  understood  Bismarck  in  1859. 

About  this  time  he  left  Dusseldorf  for  Berlin.  As,  however, 
by  reason  of  his  condemnation,  he  was  forbidden  to  live  there, 
he  entered  the  town  disguised  as  a  carter.  Subsequently, 
through  Humboldt,  he  obtained  from  the  king  permission  to 
reside  there,  in  spite  of  Manteuffel's  opposition.  His  devoted 
friend,  Countess  Hatzfeld,  followed  him  there,  and  they  both 
set  themselves  seriously  to  work,  while  enjoying  at  the  same 
time  the  society  of  scholars,  men  of  letters,  and  philosophers. 
Lassalle  was  elected  member  of  the  Society  of  Philosophy  on 
account  of  the  merits  of  his  work  on  Heraclitus  of  Ephesus,  and 
to  him  was  assigned  the  duty  of  delivering  an  address  on  the 
occasion  of  the  fetes  given  in  honour  of  Fichte.     He  drew  a 


48  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

picture  of  modern  philosophy  in  Germany,  and  endeavoured  to 
prove  that  the  theories  of  Kant,Fichte,  and  Hegel  were  only  the 
logical  development  of  the  same  system.  The  form  of  his  dis- 
course was  too  abstract,  and  did  not  please  the  public  at  all, 
although  he  was  careful  to  recall  the  fact  that  Fichte  had  pro- 
phesied German  unity,  and  had  announced  that  one  day  the 
German  people  would  enjoy  the  liberty  and  equality  proclaimed 
by  the  French  Revolution.  He  had  a  sort  of  worship  for  the 
men  of  that  time,  and  especially  for  Robespierre,  often  carrying 
a  cane  given  to  him  by  his  friend  Forster,  the  historian,  which 
had  once  belonged  to  Robespierre.  Like  his  model  of  '93,  he 
affected  great  elegance,  and  one  of  his  critics  said  of  him,  that 
he  liked  to  have  a  chased  handle  to  his  Jacobin  poignard,  and 
lace  on  his  Phrygian  cap. 

In  1861  he  published  a  literary  study  of  Lessing,  and  a  very 
learned  work  on  jurisprudence  in  two  volumes,  the  "System  of 
Acquired  Rights  "  {System  der  Erworbe7ie7i  Rechte).  Radical 
ideas  of  reform  obtrude  themselves  through  the  purely  scientific 
dissertations,  as,  for  instance,  when  the  existing  system  of 
property  and  inheritance  is  severely  criticised.  In  two  political 
pamphlets  which  appeared  shortly  afterwards,  "  The  Essence  of  a 
Constitution"  ( Ueber  Verfassungstuesen),  and  "  Might  and  Right " 
{Macht  tmd  Jiec/it),  he  takes  up  his  favourite  idea  that  in  human 
affairs  it  is  force  which  always  decides  in  the  last  resort.  All 
constitutional  problems  are  summed  up  in  this  :  Who  is  the 
strongest  ?  If  the  Chambers  cannot  command  efficacious 
means  of  resistance,  they  lie  at  the  mercy  of  the  sovereign. 
This  theory,  which  has  since  widely  spread,  because  certain 
contemporary  events  have  appeared  to  justify  it,  is  open  to 
objection.  It  is  true  bayonets  decide,  but  what  puts  bayonets 
in  motion  if  not  ideas?  Is  it  not  the  abstract  principle  of 
nationality  which  has  completely  changed  the  map  of  Europe  ? 
Cavour  created  the  unity  of  Italy,  and  Bismarck  that  of 
Germany,  because  they  carried  out  this  idea,  w^hile  Napoleon  I., 
with  all  his  prodigious  victories  and  amazing  genius,  created 
nothing  durable,  because  he  ignored  and  disregarded  it ;  and 
unless  Austria  will  frankly  accept  this  principle,  sooner  or  later 
she  will  fall  before  it.  e 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE.  49 

It  was  only  towards  1862  that  Lassalle  became  the  champion 
of  Sociahsm.     It  was  the  epoch  of  the  struggle  between  the 
Prussian  Liberals  and  Prince  Bismarck  on  the  subject  of  the 
reorganization  of  the  army  and  the  military  estimates,  which  the ! 
Chamber  obstinately  rejected  for  several  years  in  succession. 
The  Liberals  endeavoured  to  gain  the  support  of  the  working 
classes.     Herr   Schulze-Delitzsch   had   acquired   an   immense 
influence  over  them  by  organizing  throughout  North  Germany 
mutual  loan  societies,   co-operative  societies   for  consumable 
stores,  and  for  the  purchase  of  raw  materials.     He  wished  to 
found  them  entirely  upon  the  principle  of  "  self-help,"  utterly 
rejecting  all  aid  from  the  State.     Lassalle  threw  himself  into 
the  movement  in  order  to  propound  and  defend  those  Socialist 
ideas  which  we  shall  examine,  and  to  the  propagation  of  which 
he  gave  himself  up  with  an  absorbing  energy.      During  the 
three  years  of  his  active  apostleship  he  devoted  his  days  and 
nights  to  organizing  meetings,  delivering  addresses,  and  writing 
pamphlets.      In  this  short  period  he  succeeded  in  making  of 
Socialism,  hitherto  vaguely  diffused  among  the  masses,  a  com- 
pact political  party,  having  its  recognized  place  in  the  electoral 
arena.      He  alone  accomplished  in   Germany  what  the  Revo- 
lution of  February  had  done  in  France. 

In  the  "Working  Man's  Programme"  {Arbeiter-programm  *) 
he  endeavoured  to  show  that,  just  as  the  middle  classes  had 
succeeded  to  the  territorial  aristocracy,  so  the  "  fourth  estate," 
the  working  class,  by  means  of  universal  suffrage,  were  destined  j  \ 
eventually  to  become  the  ruling  power  in  the  community.  U 
Prosecuted  for  having  excited  hatred  between  the  different 
classes  of  society,  he  defended  himself  with  great  skill  in  a 
pamphlet  entitled  "Science  and  Working  Men"  {die  Wissen- 
schaft  und  die  Arbeiter).  "In  1848,"  said  he,  "the  working 
men  were  at  the  mercy  of  ignorant  agitators.  We  should  bring 
science  within  their  reach  and  instruct  them,  so  that  they  may 
learn  where  their  real  interests  lie,  and  know  how  to  act  in 
consequence."  rin  showing  that,  by  the  laws  of  historic  evolution, 
democracy  must  ultimately  triumph,  he  had  only  maintained — 

*  [An   excellent   English   translation  of  this  address,  by  Mr.   Edward 
Peters,  has  recently  appeared  (London,  1SS4).  —  7;-.] 


50  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

SO  he  averred — a  thesis  which  was  perhaps  amenable  to  criticism 
but  not  to  the  penal  code.  A  general  assembly  of  German 
working  men  was  to  take  place  at  Leipsic  in  1863.  He  took 
the  opportunity  to  expound  his  views  in  an  "open  letter," 
addressed  to  the  central  committee,  which  was  answered  in  a 
remarkable  manner  by  Rodbertus-Jagetzow.  Soon  afterwards 
he  expanded  them  in  an  address  delivered  at  one  of  the  sittings 
of  the  congress. 

Far  from  retracting,  he  emphasized  his  views  still  further  in 
two  writings  which  he  published  relative  to  the  prosecutions" 
directed  against  him.*  His  last  publication,  directed  against 
Herr  Schulze-Delitsch,!  is  the  most  remarkable  he  ever  wrote. 
In  it  he  developes  his  theories  more  at  length  than  elsewhere, 
and,  at  the  same  time,  wields  with  amazing  energy  the  bitter 
weapon  of  irony.  Sophistries  are  not  lacking,  but  they  are 
concealed  by  the  originality  of  his  historical  and  economical 
views.  Proudhon  himself  never  wTote  anything  more  cutting ; 
and  Lassalle  had  a  far  greater  knowledge  of  history  and  political 
economy.  He  was  not  altogether  wrong  when  he  boastingly 
said,  "  For  every  line  that  I  write  I  am  armed  with  all  the 
science  of  our  times."  Nevertheless,  this  publication  is  merely 
a  pamphlet  and  not  a  scientific  book.  His  great  works  on 
"  Heraclitus  "  and  on  "  Acquired  Rights,"  however,  lead  one 
to  believe  that  he  was  capable  of  producing  something  of 
durable  value,  but  he  had  not  the  time. 

Lassalle  was  killed  in  a  duel  in  the  month  of  August,  1864. 
Bernhard  Becker,  formerly  one  of  his  disciples,  has  published 
all  that  is  accurately  known  about  this  event,  and  he  justly 
remarks  that  if  Lassalle  had  lived  more  in  conformity  with  his 
democratic  doctrines,  he  would  not  have  ended  so  like  an 
adventurer.  Nearly  every  year  he  used  to  go  during  the 
summer  to  rest  and  recruit,  sometimes  to  the  seaside,  some- 
times to  Switzerland,  and  usually  accompanied  by  his  faithful 
friend  the  Countess  of  Hatzfeld.  In  1863,  after  having  founded 
the  "  General  Association  of  German  Working  Men,"  he  pro- 

*  Der  Lassalle' sche  Criminal-process,  1853;  and  Der  Hochveraths-process 
under  F.  Lassalle.  —  Vertheidigungsrede  vom  12  Marz,  1S64. 

t  Herr  Bastiat-Schulze  von  Deliizsch  oder  Kapital  und  Arbeit. 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  5 1 

ceeded  to  Ostend.  In  1864,  on  leaving  for  Switzerland,  he 
delegated  to  Otto  Dammer  the  exercise  of  his  functions  as 
president  of  the  association.  In  June  he  delivered  a  great 
address  at  a  popular  meeting  in  Frankfort.  Having  been  con- 
demned to  a  year's  imprisonment  for  one  of  the  pamphlets 
which  appeared  in  1863,  he  had  succeeded  on  appeal  in  getting 
it  reduced  to  half  a  year,  and  he  was  intending  to  deliver  him- 
self up  at  the  beginning  of  winter.  He  passed  the  month  of 
June  at  Ems  with  the  countess.  In  July  she  left  for  Wildbad, 
while  he  went  to  the  Rigi-Kaltbad,  a  favourite  spot  of  his. 
There  one  day  he  was  visited  by  an  English  lady,  who  was 
accompanied  by  a  young  girl  he  had  met  in  Berlin,  Helena 
von  Doenniges. 

Lassalle  was  then  thirty-nine  years  old.  He  was  tall,  slender, 
and  pale ;  his  black  eyes  shot  fire ;  his  profile  was  refined  and 
proud;  his  conversation  was  brilliant,  and  when  he  was 
animated,  his  eloquence  carried  all  before  it.  He  pleased 
women,  and  was  far  from  indifferent  to  them.  Fraiilein  von 
Doenniges  was  of  ruddy  hue  and  very  romantic,  which  was  to 
his  taste.  After  a  second  interview  at  Wabern,  near  Berne,  at 
the  house  of  the  English  lady  with  whom  Helena  was  living, 
they  vowed  to  marry  each  other  in  spite  of  all  obstacles. 
Fraiilein  von  Doenniges  foresaw  some  very  serious  objections 
on  the  part  of  her  father,  an  old  Bavarian  diplomatist,  who 
assuredly  would  not  fancy  the  idea  of  having  the  notorious 
Socialist  for  his  son-in-law.  Lassalle  acquainted  the  Countess 
of  Hatzfeld  with  his  projects,  and  she,  after  a  {q.\n  objections, 
applied  herself  with  an  almost  maternal  devotion  to  making 
them  succeed.* 

*  All  the  details  of  the  drama — the  correspondence  between  Lassalle 
and  the  countess,  his  letters  to  Fraiilein  von  Doenniges,  as  well  as  his 
telegrams  and  various  proceedings  day  by  day  and  hour  by  hour — have  been 
published  by  Herr  Bernhard  Becker,  under  the  title  of  Eiithullungcn  iiber 
die  tragische  Lebcnsende  Ferdinaftd  Lassalle's.  The  countess,  who  had 
agreed  with  Becker,  to  have  an  account  of  Lassalle's  death  published,  had 
entrusted  him  with  all  the  necessary  pa]iers  for  that  purpose.  Afterwards, 
having  quarrelled  with  him,  she  demanded  them  back  again  ;  but  Becker 
had  taken  copies  of  them,  and  he  deemed  it  right  to  publish  them  in  order 
to  make  his  former  master  better  known.  He  alleges  that  the  countess 
acted  the  part  of  an  outraged  rival,  and  that  she  tried  to  prevent  her  friend's 
marriage  ;  but  the  letters  published  by  him  would  seem  rather  to  prove  the 
contrary. 


52  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

On  the  3rd  of  August,  Helena  returned  to  her  father's 
house  at  Geneva.  Lassalle  intended  to  go  and  see  him,  but 
the  Bavarian  diplomatist  absolutely  refused  to  receive  him ; 
and  when  his  wife  informed  him  that  there  was  a  marriage  in 
view,  his  anger  knew  no  bounds.  He  cursed  his  daughter,  and 
swore  that  he  would  never  consent  to  such  a  union.  Helena, 
in  despair,  escaped  from  her  father's  house  and  threw  herself 
upon  the  protection  of  Lassalle,  telling  him  to  take  her  where 
he  would ;  but  he,  not  caring  to  enter  the  Doenniges  family,  as 
it  were,  by  the  back  door,  brought  her  back  to  her  mother. 
With  her  ardour  somewhat  cooled  by  this  deed  of  discretion, 
and  overcome  by  the  entreaties  of  her  whole  family,  the  young 
girl  allowed  herself  to  be  taken  away  from  Geneva,  "  despairing, 
but  resigned." 

At  this  unexpected  event  Lassalle  became  utterly  beside 
himself.  He  was  wounded  in  his  vanity,  always  excessively- 
strong.  That  he,  the  idol  of  women  of  rank,  should  be  for- 
gotten by  a  girl  of  twenty,  who  but  yesterday  swore  eternal 
faith  to  him,  and  who  had  given  herself  up  to  him  utterly! 
Impossible !  It  was  her  cruel  father  who  had  carried  her  qff 
and  shut  her  up  in  spite  of  herself  The  question  was  how  to 
free  her  by  any  and  every  means.  He  called  to  his  aid  the 
Countess  of  Hatzfeld  and  his  friend  Colonel  Riistow,  and  they 
did  everything  they  could  to  move  Herr  von  D(jenniges. 
Lassalle  hastened  to  Munich  in  order  to  get  the  minister  for 
foreign  affairs  to  act  on  his  behalf,  and  he  promised  to  do  so. 
The  countess  herself  went  to  Ketteler,  the  Archbishop  of 
Mayence,  to  beg  him  to  interfere.  The  account  of  the  inter- 
view is  amusing.  The  archbishop  highly  praised  the  Socialist 
agitator;  he  took  the  deepest  interest  both  in  his  scientific 
labours  and  in  his  propagandist  efforts,  although  he  doubted 
the  possibility  of  applying  his  theories  to  practice.  But  how 
could  he,  archbishop  as  he  was,  encourage  the  marriage  of  a 
Catholic  with  a  Jew  ?  If  even  Lassalle  would  be  converted, 
there  might  perhaps  be  some  hope  of  success. 

After  all,  it  was  too  late.  Overcome,  as  she  says  in  her 
memoirs,  by  the  entreaties  of  her  family,  and  in  obedience  to  a 
veritable  moral  compulsion,  Helena  suddenly  decided  to  marry, 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  53 

almost  immediately,  a  young  Wallachian  Boyar,  Baron  Janko 
von  Racowitza,  and  she  herself  announced  the  fact  to  Lassalle. 
The  rage  and  despair  of  this  haughty  man  were  thus  excited  to 
the  utmost.  Nothing  can  better  depict  the  agitation  of  a  fierce 
and  passionate  nature  than  the  letters  which  he  wrote,  during 
this  critical  month  of  August,  to  his  friends  and  to  the  girl  who 
was  deserting  him.  Feverish  telegrams  despatched  at  every 
instant,  extraordinary  proceedings,  frenzied  appeals,  fits  of 
passion,  journeys  post-haste  in  all  directions — it  is  a  veritable 
picture  of  modern  life,  nervous  and  overheated  to  excess. 

Lassalle  returned  to  Geneva  towards  the  end  of  the  month, 
bearing  a  letter  from  the  Bavarian  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs, 
which  he  hoped  might  induce  Herr  von  Doenniges  to  grant 
him  an  interview  with  Helena.  He  was  certain  she  would 
never  resist  the  power  of  his  voice  and  personal  influence ;  but 
she  absolutely  refused  to  see  him.  Enraged  beyond  all  bounds, 
he  demanded  satisfaction  in  insulting  terms  from  Herr  von 
Doenniges.  Racowitza  presented  himself  to  answer  the  chal- 
lenge. His  two  seconds,  Dr.  Arndt  and  Count  Kaiserlink,  who 
was  to  marry  Helena's  sister,  demanded  the  return  of  all  her 
letters.  Colonel  Riistow  and  the  Hungarian,  General  Bethlen, 
who  acted  for  Lassalle,  absolutely  refused.  The  duel  was  then 
desired  by  both  adversaries.  It  took  place  on  the  28th  August, 
1864,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Carouge.  Lassalle  fell  at  the 
first  shot,  mortally  wounded.  Three  days  later  he  died  at  the 
Hotel  Victoria  in  Geneva.* 

The  Countess  Hatzfeld  brought  his  remains  back  to  Germany 
by  way  of  the  Rhine.  It  was  like  a  triumphal  march.  At 
Mayence  a  most  imposing  ceremony  was  arranged,  principally 
by  the  care  of  the  Catholic  clergy.  In  order  to  put  an  end  to 
these  manifestations,  which  were  moving  the  Socialist  body  in 

*  The  most  exact  details  of  the  whole  drama  are  to  be  found  in  a  strange 
volume  lately  published  by  Helena  von  Racowitza,  Mcine  Bcziehjingen  zu 
Ferdinand  Lassalle  (1879).  The  account  confirms  in  almost  every  particular 
that  of  Bernhard  Becker. 

Another  book  upon  the  same  subject,  Im  Anschluss  an  die  Jllemoircn 
der  Helena  von  Racowitza,  has  been  published  by  M.  A.  Kutschbach 
(Chemnitz,  1880).  A  Russian  lady,  moreover,  has  related  a  passage  of 
romance  enacted  between  herself  and  Lassalle  :  VAmore  nella  vita  di 
Ferdinand  Lassalle,  trad,  dal  rtisso  de  Z.  E.     Florence,  1S78. 


54  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

all  Germany,  the  police  seized  the  coffin  at  Cologne  in  the 
name  of  the  family,  and  sent  it  to  Breslau,  where  the^body_was 
interred  in  the  Jewish  cemetery. 

In  the  principal  towns  the  working  men's  associations  wished 
to  honour  his  memory  by  funeral  ceremonies,  at  which  he  was 
represented  as  the  martyr  and  saint  of  Socialism.  The  im- 
pression was  so  profound  that  numbers  of  the  people  believed, 
and  still  believe,  that  he  did  not  die,  and  that  he  will  come 
again  in  his  glory,  to  preside  over  the  great  revolution  and 
reorganization  of  society.  A  Lassallian  party  arose,  which  has 
continued  in  spite  of  all  efforts  to  extinguish  it,  and  which  has 
never  been  completely  amalgamated  with  the  International 
Socialism  of  Karl  Marx. 

We  shall  try  to  exhibit  the  ideas  of  Lassalle  as  a  whole, 
without  attempting  to  analyze  his  numberless  publications,  all 
of  which  relate  to  special  circumstances. 

Can  the  working  man,  under  the  present  social  system,  by 
his  own  efforts  better  his  condition,  as  asserted  by  Schulze- 
Delitzsch?  No,  replied  Lassalle,  the  "iron  law"  of  wages 
stands  in  the  way. 

What  is  this  "  iron  law,"  das  eherne  Lohngesetz,  which  is  the 
foundation  of  all  his  deductions  ?  It  is  the  law  by  virtue  of 
which,  in  existing  society,  and  under  the  action  of  supply  and 
demand,  the  average  wages  of  the  working  man  are  reduced  to 
the  minimum  necessary  for  existence  and  reproduction.  That 
is  the  level  towards  which  wages,  however  they  may  fluctuate, 
inevitably  tend,  without  being  able  to  remain,  for  any  length 
of  time,  either  above  or  below  it.  Wages  cannot  long  remain 
above  this  line,  for  then,  in  consequence  of  the  greater  comfort 
and  ease  of  the  working  classes,  the  number  of  marriages  and 
births  among  them  would  increase,  with  the  natural  result  that 
the  number  of  hands  seeking  employment  would  likewise 
■  increase;  and  by  their  offering  themselves  for  work  in  com- 
petition with  each  other,  the  rate  of  wages  would  be  brought 
back  to  the  same  fatal  point.  Neither  can  they  fall  much 
below  this  level,  for  then  want  and  famine  would  bring  in  their 
train  increased  mortality,  emigration,  diminution  of  marriages 
and  births,  and,  in  consequence,  a  reduction  of  the  number 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE.  55 

seeking  work.  The  supply  of  labourers  being  diminished,  their 
wages  would  be  raised  by  competition  among  employers,  and 
in  this  way  would  soon  be  brought  up  again  to  the  normal 
rate.  Periods  of  prosperity  and  of  commercial  crisis,  which 
constantly  occur  in  trade,  produce  these  oscillations ;  but  the 
"  iron  law  "  always  brings  the  labourer's  recompense  down  to 
the  minimum  upon  which  it  is  possible  for  him  to  live.  This 
minimum  may,  indeed,  be  modified  in  consequence  of  the 
progress  of  industry.  The  standard  of  life  of  a  working  man, 
and  the  wants  which  he  deems  absolutely  necessary,  have 
certainly  changed.  Thus,  in  the  Middle  Ages,  he  wore  no 
underclothes  and  went  barefoot,  while  to-day  a  shirt  and  a  pair 
of  shoes  are  deemed  indispensable.  He  uses  more  manufac- 
tured articles,  but  eats  less  animal  food.  It  is  a  question,  then, 
of  the  minimum  of  any  given  epoch,  which  will  be  that  below 
which  the  labourer  would  cease  to  marry  and  have  children,  or 
be  able  to  rear  them. 

"  The  iron  law  "  of  wages  is  simply  a  particular  application  ]  \ 
of  the  general  law  which  governs  the  prices  of  goods,  and 
which  is  one  of  the  commonplaces  of  Political  Economy.  In  • 
this  connection  a  distinction  must  be  made  as  to  three  classes 
of  objects.  In  the  first  place,  there  are  certain  articles  which 
cannot  be  reproduced  at  will,  such  as  antique  statues,  the  pic- 
tures of  the  old  masters,  and  natural  curiosities.  The  price  of 
these  articles  is  determined,  not  by  the  cost  of  production, 
because  they  cannot  be  reproduced,  but  by  what  amateurs 
choose  to  give  for  them.  Other  articles,  again,  may  be  multi- 
plied within  certain  limits,  but  with  increasing  difficulty.  In 
this  case  it  is  the  cost  of  production  of  those  obtained  under 
the  most  difficult  conditions  which  determines  the  general  price. 
Such,  for  example,  are  agricultural  products.  Finally,  there  is 
a  third  kind  of  article  which  may  be  multiplied  almost  at  will, 
such  as  manufactured  articles.  The  price  of  these  will  be 
governed  by  the  cost  of  producing  them  under  the  most  favour- 
able circumstances,  that  is,  with  the  least  outlay.  Labour, 
viewed  as  an  article  of  merchandise,  belongs  clearly  to  this 
third  category,  for  the  number  of  hands  increases  generally  in 
proportion  to  the  demand.     The  price  of  labour,  that  is  to  say, 


56  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

wages,  will  be  determined  by  the  minimum  which  it  costs  to 
maintain  the  labourer,  a  minimum  which,  in  this  case,  answers 
to  the  least  cost  of  production  of  this  particular  merchandise, 
the  productive  force  of  the  labourer. 

If  such,  concludes  Lassalle,  be  the  general  law,  those 
institutions  extolled  by  Herr  Schulze-Delitzsch  can  succeed  no 
better  than  the  old  methods  of  Charity  and  Patronage,  in  per- 
manently ameliorating  the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes. 
The  reason  is  this  :  so  long  as  it  is  merely  a  question  of  a 
limited  number  of  working  men,  these  will  clearly  derive  an 
advantage  by  obtaining  the  commodities  they  require,  at  a 
cheaper  rate  and  of  a  better  quality,  from  a  co-operative  society  ; 
but  if  the  majority  of  working  men  profited  by  these  institu- 
tions, the  consequence  would  be  that  they  would  live  in  the 
same  way  as  they  now  do,  only  with  less  expense ;  the  minimum 
cost  of  living,  that  is,  the  minimum  cost  of  production  of 
labour,  would  be  lowered ;  and  since  this  minimum  is  the  level 
towards  which  competition  tends  to  reduce  all  wages,  it  follows 
that  wages  would  be  lowered  in  proportion  as  the  cost  of 
maintaining  the  labourer  became  less.  It  is  thus  that  Lassalle 
endeavours  to  show  the  futility  of  the  efforts  of  Herr  Schulze- 
Delitzsch  and  other  bourgeois  philanthropists,  who  hope  to 
better  the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes,  without  altering 
the  actual  organization  of  society.  All  those  attempts,  inspired 
by  the  goodness  of  their  hearts,  come  to  grief  against  the 
"  iron  law." 

This  reasoning,  based  upon  the  generally  accepted  prin- 

;  ciples  of  orthodox  Political  Economy,  brought  upon  Lassalle 

\  the  most  virulent  attacks  from  the  national  Liberal  papers.     He 

'replied  to  them  no  less  violently.*     He  had  no  difficulty  in 

proving  that  the  theory  of  wages  described  by  him,  however 

disheartening  it  might  seem,  was  merely  that  of  the  masters 

of  Political  Economy,  of  Adam  Smith,  J.    B.  Say,   Ricardo, 

J.  S.  Mill,  Rau,  Roscher,  Zachariae,  and  of  all  their  disciples. 

Even  before  them,  Turgot  had  formulated  the  same  idea  in 

that  wonderful  language,  clear  as  a  crystal,  of  the  eighteenth 

*  Zur  Arheitcrfraqe,  Rede  zti  Leipzig,  am    i6  April,   1863.     Rede  zu 
Frankfurt,  am  17  tind  19  Mai,  1S63. 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  57 

century  :  "  The  simple  working  man,"  he  says,  "  who  has  only 
his  two  hands,  possesses  nothing  unless  he  is  able  to  sell  his 
labour  to  others.  He  may  sell  it  cheap  or  dear,  but  the  price, 
more  or  less  high,  does  not  depend  on  himself  alone  \  it  is 
the  result  of  the  bargain  he  makes  with  his  employer.  This 
latter  pays  as  little  as  he  possibly  can,  and  since  he  can  choose 
from  among  a  vast  number  of  labourers,  he  prefers  the  one 
who  will  work  at  the  lowest  rate.  The  labourers  are  thus 
obliged  to  lower  their  prices  in  competition  with  one  another. 
In  every  kind  of  labour  it  must  therefore  result — and  such  is 
actually  the  case — that  the  wages  of  the  labourer  are  limited 
to  the  exact  amount  necessary  to  keep  him  alive."  These  few 
lines  contain  the  whole  system  of  Marx  and  of  Lassalle. 

Let  us  now  examine  how  far  the  famous  "iron  law"  is 
conformable  with  truth.  But  first,  there  is  a  preliminary 
remark  to  make.  The  majority  of  modern  economists  main- 
tain that  the  influences  which  govern  wages  are  natural  laws 
which  are  as  immutable  as  those  which  rule  physical  pheno- 
mena, and  that  it  is  therefore  useless  and  even  absurd  to  try 
to  change  them.  That  is,  however,  an  entirely  erroneous  way 
to  view  the  matter.  True  it  is  that,  given  the  present  social 
organization,  with  the  existing  manners  and  customs,  results 
merely  of  our  past  history,  the  laws  which  govern  wages  are 
their  "  natural "  consequence.  But  these  facts  and  institutions, 
of  which  they  are  the  consequence,  are  contingent  facts,  pro- 
ceeding from  the  free-will  of  man.  The  men  who  are  their 
authors  can  alter  them,  as  they  have  so  often  done  in  the 
course  of  ages,  and  then  the  "  natural "  results  would  be  quite 
different.  There  is,  therefore,  in  Political  Economy,  no  necessary 
chain  of  facts  over  which  w^e  have  no  control,  as  is  the  case 
in*  the  physical  world  in  the  midst  of  which  we  live.  We 
submit  to  the  cosmical  laws,  we  make  the  social  laws.  The 
former  are  unchangeable,  and  find  their  causes  in  the  con- 
stitution of  the  universe ;  while  the  latter  alter  from  age  to 
age,  according  as  the  march  of  history  gives  birth  to  new  types 
of  civilization. 

This  being  admitted,  it  remains  to  be  seen  if,  in  the  present 
social  state,  the  "  iron  law  "  is  realized  with  that  fatal  strictness 


58  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

described  by  Lassalle,  following  in  the  footsteps  of  Ricardo, 
Smith,  and  Turgot.  In  the  first  place,  it  is  clearly  true  that 
the  rate  of  wages  cannot  long  remain  below  what  is  indis- 
pensable to  enable  the  labourers  to  live  and  rear  children, 
otherwise  their  numbers  would  be  rapidly  diminished.  It  is 
not  that  we  see  them  die  of  starvation,  as  in  the  famines  of 
the  Middle  Ages,  and  even  under  Louis  XIV. ;  but,  as  Friederich 
Lange  says,  they  die  of  the  same  causes  as  in  ordinary  times, 
only  they  disappear  more  rapidly.*  Now  it  is  a  woman  in 
:  childbirth  who  succumbs  to  the  cold,  and  now  an  infant  who 
'  perishes  because  the  milk  it  takes  is  not  sufficiently  nourishing. 
(  Diseases  become  rapidly  fatal,  since  they  fasten  on  constitu- 
\  tions  already  enfeebled ;  and  thus  the  mortality  increases 
without  being  noticed.  This  is  precisely  what  occurred  during 
the  siege  of  Paris.  Scarcely  any  one  literally  died  of  hunger, 
because  charity  increased  in  proportion  to  the  suffering, 
and  yet  the  number  of  deaths  considerably  increased,  while 
that  of  the  births  diminished.  Prolonged  industrial  crises, 
and  displacements  or  transformations  in  any  particular 
trade,  act  in  the  same  manner,  when  they  bring  about  a 
reduction  of  wages.  From  this  side,  then,  "  the  iron  law "  is 
a  stern  reality. 

But,  on  the  other  hand,  is  it  true  that  wages  can  never  rise 
above  the  minimum  indispensable  for  existence,  and  that,  in 
consequence,  all  the  efforts  of  philanthropists  to  better  the 
condition  of  the  great  masses  are,  as  Lassalle  asserts,  a  delusion 
or  a  sham  ? 

Mill  was  so  convinced  of  the  truth  of  this  principle,  that 
he  did  not  wish  agricultural  labourers  to  be  given  even  a  strip 
of  land  where  they  might  grow  a  few  vegetables  by  working  in 
their  spare  hours.  The  only  result,  he  maintains,  would  be 
that,  after  his  day's  work  was  over,  the  labourer  would  dig 
in  his  own  garden  in  the  evening,  by  moonlight,  and  on 
holidays,  and  that  by  thus  obtaining  some  increase  of  food 
he  would  be  able  to  sell  his  labour  all  the  cheaper.  Hence 
increase  of  work  and  lower  wages  would  be  the  effect  of  a 

*  Friederich-Albert  Lange,  Die  Ai-bciterfrage  (The  Labour  Question), 
third  edition,  Winterthur,  1875,  p.  164. 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE. 


59 


measure  which,  at  first  sight,  would  seem  such  a  good  thing 
for  the  rural  day-labourers. 

If  "  economic  laws  "  acted,  as  is  affirmed,  with  the  same 
inexorable  rigour  as  cosmic  laws,  then  the  reasoning  of  Mill 
and  Lassalle  would  be  unassailable;  but  man  is  a  free  agent,  ''  '^ 
obeying  various  motives,  and  his  conduct  varies  according  to 
his T)'eliefs"~ahd  hopes,  and  according  to  the  ruling  ideas  and:, 
the  institutions  in  vogue  around  him.     A  greater  amount  of  I 
comfort  among  working  men  will  bring  about  a  decrease  in 
wages  only  if  they  avail  themselves  of  it  to  increase  exception- 
ally the  number  of  their  children.     Now  this  result  is  so  far 
from  being  necessary  that  the  greater  proportion  of  observed 
facts  would  seem  to  warrant  the  opposite  conclusion.     Wan,t  [  ■ 
and  misery  carry  off  many  children,  but,  indirectly,  they  also 
cause  a  large  number  of  births.     Easy  circumstances,  on  the  ; 
contrary,  by  inducing  foresight,  retard  marriages,  and  render 
them  less  prolific.     Is  not   the  proof  of  it  to  be  found  in 
Ireland,  where,  forty  years  ago,  the  population  swarmed  in  the 
midst  of  the  most  abject  destitution,  and  in  the  very  word 
proletaire  itself,   which  signifies  at  once  miserable   and   pro- 
creator  of  children?     It  is  not  observed  that  those  working 
men  whose  condition  has  been  improved  by  the  philanthropy 
of  their  masters  have  larger  families  than  others.     In  Flanders, 
where,  in  consequence  of  the  density  of  the  population,  wages 
in  the  country  districts  have  fallen  to  an  average  of  seven 
shillings  a  week,  many  labourers  draw  a  supplement  of  food 
from  a  few  perches  of  land  which  they  rent  at  a  price  which 
is  often  excessive.     Now,  whatever  Mill  may  say  to  the  con- 
trary, those  who  obtain  these  strips  of  land  are  subject  to  less 
privations  than  those  who  have  none,  and  it  is  not  observed 
that  they  have  any  more  children.     When  employers  build 
houses  for  their  operatives,  and  let  them^aFa^lnodefate'^  reiif, 
they  cannot  profit  thereby  to  reduce  wages,  for  the  number  1  ' 
of  hands  is  not,  in  consequence,  increased.     Better  still,  let  •■ 
large  hotels  *  be  built,   where  labourers   can   find   food  and 

*  As  examples,  we  may  cite  the  Faniilistcre  of  Guise,  established  by 
M.  Godin-Lemaire,  and  the  Hotel  Louise,  organized  by  M.  Jules  d'Andri- 
mont,  director  of  the  colUery  of  Hasard,  near  Liege.    Tliis  latter  institution. 


i  i 


CM'a 


60  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

lodging  with  innocent  amusement  for  a  half  or  a  third  of  what 
they  earn  per  day.  It  follows  that  they  would  enjoy  greater  ease 
and  comfort  than  their  comrades  in  the  same  category',  that 
they  would  acquire  better  habits,  would  lay  up  a  small  capital, 
and  thus  would  not  be  in  such  haste  to  throw  themselves  into 
the  miseries  of  a  too  early  marriage.  In  drawing  nearer  to 
the  middle  classes,  they  would  acquire  their  instincts  of  order 
and  prudence. 

As  those  Economists  have  seen  who  have  best  analyzed 
this  difficult  problem,  Mill  in  England  and  Joseph  Gamier  in 
France,  it  all  comes  back  to  the  question  whether  it  is  want 
or  plenty  which  urges  on  the  increase  of  population.  If 
greater  comfort  leads  necessarily  to  a  corresponding  increase 
in  the  number  of  labourers,  then  there  is  no  salvation.  The 
"  iron  law  "  will  act  in  all  its  rigour.  The  minimum  of  suB- 
sistence  will  be  the  eternal  destiny  of  the  greater  number. 
For,  as  Mill  puts  it,  you  may  adopt  institutions,  the  most 
favourable  to  the  labourer ;  you  may  devise  whatever  division 
you  please  of  wealth  and  products,  the  time  will  come  when 
the  earth  will  be  no  longer  able  to  support  all  those  upon  it. 
If,  on  the  contrary,  the  acquisition  of  property,  and  the  greater 
degree  of  comfort  resulting  therefrom,  retard  marriages  and 
diminish  the  number  of  births,  then  it  may  be  affirmed  that 
the  measures  taken  in  favour  of  the  labouring  classes  will  end 
in  the  permanent  improvement  of  their  condition,  and  will 


the  good  results  of  which  I  can  closely  observe,  obtained  the  medal  of 
honour  at  the  Universal  Exhibition  of  Vienna  in  1873.  For  I  fr.  50  c. 
a  day,  the  labourer  can  have  two  breakfasts,  a  dinner,  and  a  supper;  he 
gets  his  lodging,  heating,  and  lighting,  and  has  his  washing  done  for  him. 
In  the  hotel  he  has  a  cafe,  a  reading-room,  and  a  casino  where  there  is 
music,  and  where  the  evenings  may  be  spent.  He  can  take  whatever 
meal  he  likes  at  a  separate  table,  there  being  no  common  board.  The 
labourer  thus  preserves  a  complete  independence,  and  is  in  no  wise  treated 
as  if  in  barracks.  The  collier  gets  from  four  to  five  francs  for  a  day  of  eight 
hours,  even  more  if  trade  is  brisk.  Thus  he  has  two-thirds  of  his  wages  at 
his  disposal  for  his  accessory  needs.  He  is  consequently  not  reduced  to 
the  minimum  necessary  for  existence.  See  Philanthropic  sociale  h  PExpo- 
sitioti  de  Vienne,  hy  Leon  d'Andrimont.  [As  to  "the  Familistere  at 
Guise,"  see  a  lecture  by  M.  Godin,  translated  into  English  by  Mr.  E.  V. 
Neale,  and  issued  as  a  pamphlet  by  the  Central  Co-operative  Board, 
Manchester.— 7>.] 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  6l 

thus  lead  to  the  solution  of  the  problem.     Observed  facts  in 
France  would  lead  to  this  conclusion. 

In  fact,  France,  along  with  Switzerland  and  Norway,  is  the 
country  in  which  property  is  distributed  amongst  the  greatest 
number  of  holders,  and  well-being  is  most  equally  divided,  and 
it  is  also  the  country  in  which  population  increases  most  slowly,  -w^;  A/u*^';^: 
During  the  last  twenty  years,  notwithstanding  the  most  terrible  C^e./6 
convulsions,  wealth  has  increased  there  more  than  anywhere 
else,  while  the  population  has  remained  almost  stationary.  In 
Germany  there  is  much  less  comfort  among  the  people ;  the 
labourer,  especially  in  the  rural  parts,  is  far  worse  paid.  Not- 
withstanding the  great  progress  of  industry  and  of  agriculture, 
which  have  had  to  struggle  against  a  naturally  sterile  soil,  the 
counFfy  is  still  poor;  and  yet  the  population  is  doubled  every 
fifty-four  years.  It  increases  at  the  same  rate  in  England, 
where  the  number  of  landowners  is  small  and  that  of  the 
labourers  very  large. 

When  Arthur  Young  travelled  in  France,  and  saw  the  soil 
divided  amongst  a  vast  number  of  lidlders",  he  predicted  the 
country  would  be  transformed  into  a  rabbit-warren.  The  very 
reverse  has  occurred.  The  population  increases  so  slowly  that 
now  and  again  there  come  cries  of  alarm.  M.  Le'once  de 
Lavergne  was  himself  startled  at  it.  Nevertheless,  he  who  had 
so  well  analyzed  the  writings  of  the  eighteenth  century  econo- 
mists, should  not  have  forgotten  Quesnay's  profound  maxim, 
which  sums  up  the  whole  question  in  two  words  :  "  Be  less 
anxious  for  the  increase  of  population  than  for  the  increase  of 
incomes."  That  Napoleon  should  reply  to  Madame  de  Stael, 
when  she  asked  what  woman  he  most  admired,  "  The  one  who 
has  most  children,"  is  perfectly  comprehensible  ;  for  what  a 
conqueror  needs  is  plenty  of  food  for  powder ;  but  what  an  , 
Economist  should  have  in  view  is  the  happiness  of  men,  and 
not  their  number.  Far  better  there  should  be  a  few  families^  !, 
thinly  peopling  a  district,  and  living  in  abundance,  than  com- 
pact masses  swarming  in  squalor.  France  fulfils  in  a  wonderful 
way  the  hopes  of  Malthus,  of  Mill,  and  of  Joseph  Gamier,  and  | 
she  offers  the  most  striking  refutation  of  the  "iron  law"  of 
Lassalle. 


62  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Let  us  follow  still  further  the  exposition  of  the  ideas  of  the 
German  agitator.*  Nowadays,  he  says,  in  order  to  produce 
with  success,  large  capital  is  needful. "  The  small  maiiulacturen 
the  petty  shopkeeper,  the  artisan,  vegetate  only,  crushed  by  "the 
competition  of  the  great  manufacturers.  The  labourer,  unable 
to  be  an  independent  producer,  is  obliged  to  sell  his  labour" 
for  the  means  of  subsistence ;  and  in  consideration  of  wages, 
the  employer  obtains  the  entire  product  of  the  labour.  This 
product  is  constantly  increasing,  according  as  processes  are 
perfected,  and  as  science  is  applied  to  the  working  of  natural 
resources  ;  but  the  labourer,  the  source  of  all  wealth,  does  not 
profit  from  it.  It  all  goes  to  the  capitalist,  who  reaps  the  entire 
benefit  of  industrial  progress.  The  labourer  is,  then,  deprived 
of  almost  all  the  fruits  of  his  labour,  and  necessarily  so,  for  he 
does  not  possess  the  capital  which  would  enable  him,  by  working 
on  his  own  account,  to  keep  the  product  of  his  labour  for 
himself 

Economists  point  out  that  the  relations  established  between 
capitalist  and  labourer  must  be  perfectly  equitable,  since  they 
are  established  by  a  free  contract  concluded  between  the  parties. 
Not  so,  replies  Lassalle ;  the  contract  is  free  only  in  appear- 
ance :  the  labourer,  not  being  himself  able  to  employ  his  hands, 
must  hire  them  out  for  any  price  that  may  be  given  him,  being 
constrained  by  hunger.  He  is  no  more  free  than  the  drowning 
man  who  gives  all  he  possesses  to  one  who  merely  reaches  him 
a  pole  to  pull  him  out  of  the  water. 

But,  replies  the  Economist,  capital  itself  is  merely  accumu 
lated  labour  :  even  if  it  is  true  that  it  obtains  an  ever-increasins: 
portion,  this  is  only  the  fair  remuneration  of  intelligent  labour, 
united  to  forethought,  abstinence,  and  thrift.  True,  answers 
Lassalle,  capital  arises  from  the  accumulation  of  the  products 
of  previous  labour,  but  it  was  the  labour  of  those  who  have 
not  obtained  the  capital,  namely,  the  workers,  and  not  the 
labour  of  the  capitalists  who  have  obtained  it.     The  existing 

*  See  besides  the  numerous  writings  of  Lassalle,  Die  bcdrohliche  Ent- 
7vickelung  des  Socialismiis  (The  Dangerous  Development  of  Socialism),  by 
Rudolf  Meyer,  a  lucid  and  substantial  production ;  Der  moderne  Socialismus 
(Modern  Socialism),  by  Dr.  Eugen  Jaeger  ;  Die  Lehren  des  heutigen  Social- 
ismus (The  Lessons  of  Modern  Socialism),  by  H,  Von  Sybel. 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  63 

social  order  is  the  direct  result  of  the  ancient  regime  which, 
by  keeping  all  property  in  the  hands  of  the  privileged  classes, 
forced  all  others,  directly  or  indirectly,  to  give  up  to  the  rich 
and  the  strong  the  best  part  of  their  gains.     Liberty  was  pro-  j 
claimed  only  after    they  had  monopolized  everything.     The 
working  man,  while  politically  free,  is,  economically  considered, 
as  dependent  as  the  serf  of  the  Middle  Ages.     Like  him,  he 
is  obliged    to  deliver   up  the  ever-increasing   product  of  his 
labour  in  exchange  for  the  strict  necessaries  of  life,  and  it  is 
thus  that  his  employers  have  been  enabled  to  accumulate  their 
capital.     Their  wealth  being  the  fruit  of  the  labour  of  others,  \ 
"  property  "  should  to-day  be  called  "altruity."     Eigenthum  ist  \ 
Fremde?ithuin. 

But  at  least,  replies  the  Economist,  you  would  not  deny 
that  the  head  of  a  business  has  a  right  to  some  reward  for  his 
skill,  his  care,  and  his  management,  and  at  the  same  time 
should  have  a  premium  to  cover  his  possible  losses.  The 
profit  of  the  manufacturer  is,  in  reality,  merely  a  higher  salary 
than  that  of  the  others,  and  it  is  such  because  it  is  the  reward 
of  the  most  essential  service,  because  the  success  of  the  concern 
depends  upon  it,  and  because  it  is  only  contingent.  That  is 
true,  says  Lassalle,  management  should  have  its  wages ;  but 
in  great  companies  is  it  the  directors  who  enjoy  the  greatest 
benefits?  No,  it  is  the  shareholders,  who  do  nothing.  In 
private  enterprises,  the  remuneration  of  the  owner  is  quite  out 
of  proportion  to  the  service  rendered.  As  regards  the  risk 
that  is  to  be  covered  by  a  premium,  it  exists  for  Tom,  Dick, 
and  Harry,  but  not  for  the  entire  class  of  heads  of  firms,  con- 
sidered as  a  whole.  What  Tom  loses  Dick  gains  ;  and  statistics 
prove  that  the  total  of  profits  is  increasing  and  is  enormous. 
TJie  class  of  capitalists,  therefore,  receive  a  premium  for  a  risk 
that  does  not  really  exist.  And~besides,  the  fact  that  there  is 
a  risk  proves  a  defect  in  the  industrial  organization.  What 
should  be  done,  then,  is  not  to  pay  a  premium,  but  to  obviate 
the  necessity  of  paying  one.  This  would  result  from  a  better 
organization,  and  what  this  is  Lassalle  proceeds  to  show. 

Nowadays   the    labourer   is   completely  at   the   mercy   of 
capital. It  is  the  world  upside  down.    Properly,  asserts  Lassalle, 


lidASi.  lA  ^ 


64  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

capital  should  be  at  the  service  of  labour.  Man  created  capital 
to  help  him  in  his  work  ;  it  is  not  necessary  that  he  should 
work  for  the  benefit  of  capital.  It  is  well  for  him  to  make 
capital,  but  not  to  have  "  capital  made  out  of  him."  Instead 
of  wages,  always  reduced  to  the  minimum  by  the  "  iron  law," 
the  labourer  should  get  the  entire  produce  of  his  labour 

Capital  and  labour  should  cease  to  make  warupon  each 
other ;  they  should  live  in  peace  and  act  in  unison.  The  solu- 
tion is  plain  :  let  them  be  united  in  the  same  person.  In  order 
to  obtain  this  result,  which  would  effect  the  transformation  of 
existing  society,  there  is  no  need  to  seek  what  is  new,  nor  to 
rush  into  Utopias.  It  would  suffice  to  favour  the  development 
of  institutions  already  working  under  our  eyes  in  different 
countries.  These  are  co-operative  societies  of  production. 
The  labourers  are  there  the  owners  of  the  capital ;  they  direct 
the  enterprise  and  receive  all  the  profits.  Thus,  capital  is  the 
servant  of  labour,  and  the  workman  receives  as  remuneration 
the  entire  product  of  his  work.  Societies  of  this  kind,  which 
have  been  founded  in  Paris  and  England,  and  of  which  those 
established  by  the  "Equitable  Pioneers  of  Rochdale"  are  the 
best  known,  prove,  beyond  doubt,  the  possibihty  of  success 
for  these  combinations.  But  the  only  way  of  insuring  their 
progress,  and  of  thus  changing  the  face  of  society,  is  to  largely 
increase  their  number ;  and  for  that  purpose  the  intervention 
of  the  State  is  necessary.  When  Schulze-Delitzsch  rejects  such 
intervention,  says  Lassalle,  he  has  "  a  mere  night-watchman's  " 
idea  of  the  State.  * 

According  to  Lassalle,  the  role  of  the  State  is  not  merely 
that  of  maintaining  order,  but  also  of  furthering  all  the  great 
enterprises  of  civilization.  And  this,  he  declares,  is  what  the' 
State  has  always  done.  Is  it  not  to  the  intervention  of  the 
State  that  we  owe  our  roads,  harbours,  canals,  postal  and  tele- 
graph systems,  and  our  schools  ?  When  the  construction  of  a 
railway  is  in  question,  does  not  the  State  frequently  grant  a  ^ 


*  [Lassalle  calls  this  a  night-watchman's  idea,  or  a  policeman's  idea, 
"  because  it  represents  to  itself  the  State  from  the  point  of  view  of  a  police- 
man, whose  whole  function  consists  in  preventing  robbery  and  burglary." 
Arbeiter-programm,  Peters'  translation,  p.  53. — Tr.\ 


FEUD  IN  AND   LASS  ALL  E.  65 

subsidy,  or  guarantee  a  minimum  interest  to  the  company  ?  It 
would  require  a  smaller  advance  for  co-operative  societies  than 
for  railways.  Lassalle  estimated  that  one  hundred  millions  of 
thalers  would  suffice  for  Prussia,  and  added  that  it  would  cost 
the  tax-payers  nothing.  According  to  him,  there  should  be  one 
grand  central  bank  established,  having  a  monopoly  of  the 
issue  of  notes,  so  that  it  could  easily  circulate  three  hundred 
million  thalers  upon  a  reserve  of  one-third.  Thus  it  would 
have,  for  the  purpose  of  loans  to  co-operative  societies,  two 
hundred  millon  thalers,  which  would  have  cost  it  nothing. 
These  societies  should  first  be  established  in  the  districts  best 
adapted  to  them  by  reason  of  the  nature  of  the  trade  carried 
on  in  them,  the  density  of  the  population,  and  the  disposition 
of  the  labourers.  Gradually  other  societies  would  be  founded 
in  all  branches  of  labour,  and  even  in  the  rural  districts. 

Agriculture,  when   conducted   on   a   large   scale,   yields  a 
larger  net  produce  ;  but  it  has  this  drawback,  it  is  incompatible 
with  small  properties.     Agricultural  co-operation  would  reunite 
the  advantages  of  the  petite  and  of  the  gi'mide  culture,  and  thus 
transform  the  entire  agrarian  system  to  the  advantage  of  the 
whole  community.     With  one  hundred  millions  of  thalers,  the 
necessary  industrial  capital  could  be  supplied  to  four  hundred 
thousand  working  men,  and  with  the  annual  interest,  at  five  per 
cent.,    namely,    five  millions,    the  benefits   of  the  association 
might  be  annually  extended    to  twenty  thousand   new   work- 
ins  men  and  their  families.     These  societies  would  establish 
among  themselves  relations  of  joint  responsibility  and  credit, 
which  would  insure  to  them  great  solidity.     Thus,  after  thcf 
lapse  of  a  short  time,  instead  of  offering  a  spectacle  of  capi-  ■ 
talists  and  labourers  hostile  to  each  other,  the  nation  would  be  . 
entirely  composed  of  working-men  capitalists,  grouped  together/ 
according  to  their  trades.    Tlie  State  would  by  no  means  have 
to  play  the  part  of  director  or  contractor  of  industry  :  far  less, 
indeed,  than  it  does  at  present  in  the  case  of  the  railways 
which  it  works.     All  it  would  have  to  do  would  be  to  examine 
and  approve  the  statutes  of  the  societies,  and  to  exercise  a 
control  sufficient  for  the  security  of  the  funds  advanced.     Each 
week   the   workmen   would   receive   the  wages   usual   in   the 

F 


66  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

locality,  and,  at  the  end  of  the  year,  the   profits  would   be 
distributed  as  a  dividend. 

Risk  and  the  chances  of  loss  would  disappear,  because 
manufacture,  instead  of  producing  haphazard,  would  proceed 
on  a  combined  principle  in  response  to  known  wants.  What 
a  contrast  there  is  to-day  between  the  admirable  order  which 
reigns  in  every  factory,  and  the  anarchy  which  desolates 
the  industrial  world !  In  each  factory,  the  master  sees  that 
nothing  useless  is  made  ;  in  order  to  make  fifty  four-wheeled 
waggons  only  two  hundred  tires  are  prepared.  But  if  it  is  a 
question  of  supplying  the  general  demand,  which  is  unknown, 
each  manufacturer  produces  according  to  guess,  and  then  tries 
to  sell  his  whole  stock  in  competition  with  others.  There 
follow,  of  course,  monetary  and  commercial  crises  from  over- 
production, and  thus  equilibrium  is  restored.  This  is  secured, 
however,  only  at  the  cost  of  immense  losses  to  the  masters, 
and  of  stoppages  of  work,  yet  more  disastrous  to  the  operatives. 
These  crises,  this  suffering,  would  be  avoided  if,  the  demand 
being  known,  by  means  of  statistics,  the  various  associations 
would  come  to  a  mutual  understanding  in  order  to  meet  it. 
^  The  activity  of  the  various  branches  of  production  would  be 
regulated  with  as  much  precision  as  are  the  different  Kinds 
of  work  in  one  of  our  present  factories. 

Already  there  are  great  metal  foundries  in  which  a  whole 
series  of  technical  operations  is  performed,  linked  together  into 
one  organic  whole,  which  extracts  the  ore  and  the  coal  from 
the  ground,  and  turns  out  completely  finished  locomotives, 
ships,  and  machines  of  all  kinds.  Krupp's  works  in  Germany, 
those  of  Le  Creusot  in  France,  and  of  Seraing  in  Belgium  are 
examples  of  these  admirable  combinations.  This  is  the  system 
which  should  be  extended  to  the  whole  community.  Then 
the  productive  capital  and  all  the  instruments  of  production 
would  belong  permanently  to  the  different  societies  grouped 
in  trade  corporations.  Newly  invented  methods  of  production 
would  become  the  property  of  the  societies,  private  individuals, 
as  such,  not  having  the  working  of  them.  On  the  other  hand, 
all  articles  of  consumption,  or  their  price,  would  be  divided 
among  those  who  had  contributed  to  produce  them,  exactly  as 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  6/ 

takes  place  to-day,  only  upon  a  more  equitable  basis.  The 
general  welfare  would  be  much  greater,  not  only  because 
distribution  would  be  more  equitable,  but  also  because  pro- 
duction would  be  on  a  much  larger  scale.  One  of  Lassalle's 
disciples,  Baron  Schweiter,  gives  the  leading  principles  of  the 
scheme  in  a  small  pamphlet  published  after  the  death  of  the 
master,  under  the  title  of  "The  dead  Schulze  against  the 
living  Lassalle."  *  Losses  at  present  arising  from  works  under- 
taken at  haphazard,  and  consequently  often  useless,  would  be 
avoided;  efforts  which  now  merely  result  in  ruining  com- 
petitors would  then  be  directed  towards  ends  profitable  to  all ; 
the  labour  of  workmen  would  be  more  productive,  because,  since 
the  whole  product  would  belong  to  them,  they  would  try,  in 
emulation  with  one  another,  to  render  it  as  large  as  possible ; 
and  finally,  the  idle,  not  being  able  to  live  without  work, 
would  enter  the  ranks  of  the  great  army  of  producers,  which 
henceforward  would  comprise  all  citizens. 

Lassalle  succeeded  in  winning  over  to  his  ideas  two  of  the  ' 
most  eminent  men,  in  their  different  ways,  of  contemporary  \  \ 
Germany — Ketteler,  bishop  of  Mayence,  and  Prince  Bismafctc.  { | 
In  the  sitting  of  the  17th  of  September,  1878,  the  Imperial 
Chancellor  spoke  of  his  connection  with  Lassalle ;  he  said  that 
he  had  never  met  a  more  agreeable  talker,  and  that  he  should 
have  been  delighted  to  have  him  for  a  neighbour  in  the  country. 
He  appears  still  to  share  the  faith  of  the  celebrated  agitator  in 
co-operative  societies  endowed  by  the  State. 

At  this  same  sitting,  he  said,  "  I  did,  in  fact,  consult  with  j . 
Lassalle  upon  the  subject  of  the  aid  to  be  given  by  government  ' 
to  co-operative  societies  ;  and  even  to-day  I  cannot  think  that  it 
would  be  a  useless  thing.  I  do  not  know  if  it  was  the  effect  of 
Lassalle's  reasoning  or  the  result  of  my  own  experience  in 
England,  during  my  sojourn  there  in  1862,  but  I  have  always 
thought  that  by  organizing  co-operative  societies,  such  as 
obtain  in  that  country,  a  real  improvement  might  be  effected 
in  the  condition  of  the  labourers.  I  conferred  with  His 
Majesty,  who  takes  a  deep  interest  in  the  working  classes,  and 
the  King  gave  a  sum  of  money  large  enough  to  make  an  experi- 
*  Der  iodte  Schuhcgegen  den  lebendcn  Lassalle. 


68  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

ment.     I  am  amazed  that  I  should  be  reproached  \vithjiaving 
[/interested  myself  in  the  solution  of  the  soaaT"  question.  "''Tiie 
I  real  reproach  to  which  I  am  exposed  is  that  I  have  not  per- 
il severed  and  conducted  this  work  to  a  successful  issue.     But  it 
■  did  not  belong  to  my  ministerial  department,  and  time  failed 
me.     War  and  foreign  politics  demanded  my  attention.    These 
attempts   at  co-operative   societies    failed   for   want  of  sound 
practical  organization.      As  far  as  production  was  concerned 
all  went  well ;  but  on  the  commercial  side  it  was  otherwise, 
and  the  difficulties  were  so  many  that  they  have  hitherto  proved 
insurmountable.      Possibly  the  cause  may  have   been   in  the 
workmen's  want  of  confidence  in  their  managers  and  superiors. 
In  England  this  confidence  does  really  exist,  and  co-operative 
societies  flourish.     At  all  events,  I  cannot  understand  why_J 
should   be   reproached  for  making  some   experiments    which 
His  Majesty  has  paid  for  out  of  his  private  purse." 

It  will  be  seen  that  Lassalle's  plans  of  social  reform  did  not 
imply  any  violent  revolution.  It  was,  in  fact,  the  idea  de- 
veloped as  early  as  1841,  by  Louis  Blanc,  in  his  work,  "The 
Organization  of  Labour,"  but  with  this  difference,  that  instead 
of  attacking  the  principles  of  Political  Economy,  the  German 
reformer  invoked  them  in  aid  of  his  demand  for  the  trans- 
formation of  the  existing  order  of  things.  If  Lassalle's  object 
is  considered,  namely,  the  multiplication  of  co-operative 
societies  of  production,  it  may  be  affirmed  that  no  one  would 
object  to  it.  The  solution  would  be  perfect,  since  capital  and 
labour  being  united  in  the  same  hands,  all  hostility  between 
these  two  factors  of  production  would  disappear.*     But  is  the 

*  At  the  eighth  congress  of  co-operative  societies,  which  was  held  at 
Glasgow  in  April,    1S76,  under  the  presidency  of  Mr.  Edward  Caird,  pro- 
fessor in  that  city,  Mr.  Hodgson,  Professor  of  Political  Economy  in  the 
University  of  Edinburgh,   veiy  clearly  explained  the  advantages    of  co- 
lt operation.     Capital  and   labour  are  indispensable  ;  but  if  represented  by 
i;  two  classes,  capitalists  and  labourers,  they  will  be  in  constant  strife.     If 
\\  there  be  but  one  class,  possessing  both  factors  of  production,  antagonism  is 
1  \  no  longer  possible.     Mr.  Hodgson  hoped  to  see  co-operation  take  the  place 
'  of  trade-unionism.     Trade  unions  are  machines  of  war,  co-operation  is  an 
advance  towards  peace  in  the  centre  of  the  factory.      Mr.  Holyoake  affirmed 
that  the  sympathy  of  "unionists"   for  co-operation  was  becoming  more 
lively,  and  he  hoped  that,  little  by  little,  they  would  enter  into  the  co- 
operative movement.     In  fact,  this  movement  is  extending  in  England. 


\kj- 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE.  69 

instrument  of  the  social  renovation,  dreamed  of  by  Lassalle 
and   Louis  Blanc,  viz.  the  co-operative  society  of  production, 
really  practicable,  and  can  it  be  hoped  that,  even  if  generously 
and,  if  needful,  gratuitously  aided  by  the  State,  it  could  com,-^  I  | 
pete  successfully  with   private  enterprises  so  as   to  supplant  ;  ' 
them?     This    is    the    essential    point   on   which   everything  ^  | 
depends. 

"Tn  a  small  article,  entitled  "The  Delusions  of  Co-operative 
Societies"  (1866),  M.  Cernuschi,  who,  in  order  to  study  this 
question  better,  had  worked  three  butchers'  shops,  points  out, 
with  that  clearness  which  characterizes  all  his  writings,  the 
grave  difficulties  in  the  way  of  the  application  of  the  system. 
These  are,  firstly,  the  great  complexity  of  the  accounts  ;  and 
secondly,  the  difficulty  of  looking  after  the  managers  and  ■  ^  Uf 
ensuring  their  honesty  and  activity.     M.  Cernuschi  quotes  the  _^/ .|^ec'-^ 

following  extract  from  an  English  pamphlet,  "  Checks  on  Co- 
operative Storekeepers:" — "  Among  the  difficulties  encountered 
by  the  co-operative  movement,  none  has  had  more  disastrous 
consequences   than   that  of  finding   an   efficacious  means  of 
superintending  the  accounts  of  the  co-operative  stores."     The 
selection  of  managers,  however,  is  really  the  great  difficulty. 
The  head  of  a  private  business  is  directly  interested  in  ihell  )■ 
good  administration  of  his  affairs,  but  the  manager  is  only  in- ! :  . 
directly  interested.    The  former,  in  that  he  receives  the  profits,  ji  ; 
will  be  far  more  active  than  the  latter,  who  has  a  fixed  salar)^   ' ",'' 
There  is  one   essential   truth  wHchre^^^  shouM  jiever 

forget,"narnely,  that  the  incentive  to  production  has  always 
been^and  will  always  be,"  persbnal  interest  and  respohslbility. 
Self-devotion  has  its  own ' pla-ce," and  a  very  large" one,  in  life"; 
charity,  duty,  and  patriotism  have  their  heroes  and  their 
martyrs;  but,  in  the  factory  and  in  the  sphere  of  material 
interests,  these  virtues  would  soon  get  wearied  at  seeing  idle- 
ness and  selfishness  taking  advantage  of  them.  The  monk,  it 
is  true,  works  for  and  enriches  his  monastery;  arid  communism, ' 

—See  the  admirable  work  of  George  Howell,  "  Conflict  of  Capital  and 
Labour,"  1878.  [See  also  a  little  book,  full  of  information  on  the  subject, 
entitled  "Working  Men  Co-operators,"  by  Arthur  H.  Dyke  Acland  and 
Benjamin  Jones  (bath  members  of  the  Central  Co-operative  Board), 
London,  1884. —  Tr.] 


i  {Tl^^e*! 


^*)f>/./ 


70 


THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


i  called  impracticable,  is  practised  under  our  very  eyes  and  with 

1 1  such  success  in  Catholic  countries  that,  if  the  civil  government 

lidid  not  take  precautions,  the  religious  bodies  would  speedily 

•i  absorb  everything.      But  here,  again,   self-interest  Js  brought 

into  play,  only  the  object  it  seeks  after  is  situated  in  heaven. 

In  joint-stock  companies  the  same  difficulty  exists  with 
regard  to  the  choice  of  managers  as  that  encountered  by 
co-operative  societies.  The  incentive  of  private  interest  is 
weakened,  but  the  directors  are  well  paid.  They  usually  have 
a  share  of  the  profits,  and  they  may  be  changed  if  they  manage 
the  business  badly;  hence  they  are  interested  in  doing  well. 
Furthermore,  as  the  most  capable  men  are  chosen,  they  are 
almost  always  superior  to  manufacturers  who  work  on  then- 
own  account,  and  thus  their  greater  capacity  compensates  for 
the  more  feeble  action  of  personal  interest.  The  majority 
of  co-operative  societies  have  succumbed,  on  the  contrary, 
through  the  shortcomings  of  their  managers.     The  reason  is 

evident. 

Co-operation  as  compared  to  individual  enterprise  is  repub- 
lican government  succeeding  to  despotic  rule.  History,  and 
even  contemporary  facts,  prove  that  many  qualities  are  needful" 

:  I  in  a  people  before  republican  institutions  can  succeed  among 

1 1  them.  In  order  to  conduct  a  commercial  or  industrial  enter- 
prise properly,  certain  special  aptitudes  are  indispensable;  and 
if  working  men  were  to  choose  one  of  their  number,  these 
aptitudes  would  frequently  be  found  wanting  in  him.  His 
authority  would  be  disputed,  and  his  equals  would  not  obey 
him  properly.  Enthusiasm  for  the  work  undertaken  would 
keep  the  co-operators  to  their  duty  for  some  time  ;  but  sooner 
or  later  they  would  tire,  devotion  to  their  principles  would  cool 
down,  incompatibilities  of  temper  would  manifest  themselves, 
and  dissensions  or  the  incapacity  of  managers  would  finally 
lead  to  the  dissolution  of  the  society.      In  order  to  have  a 

■  capable  director,  it  would  be  necessary  to  pay  him  well ;  he 
would  straightway  become  a  bourgeois,  living  like  a  bourgeois, 
a  fact  which  would  at  once  excite  the  jealousy  of  his  comrades. 
His  salary  would  be  about  equal  to  the  profits  of  the  single 

•   owner,  and   thus  no  saving  would   be  effected.     This  draw- 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE,  7 1 

back  does  not  exist  in  large  enterprises  operating  in  hundreds 
of  thousands,  because  the  salaries  of  the  directors  form  only 
a  small  fraction  of  the  total  transactions  ;  but  co-operative 
societies,  founded  on  the  savings  of  working  men,  would  almost 
always  be  very  small  undertakings. 

These  objections,  inherent  to  the  co-operative  system,  were 
clearly  pointed  out  even  by  its  partisans  at  the  debates  of  the 
working  men's  congress,  which  met  in  Paris  in  October,  1876  ; 
at  the  same   time   a   remarkable    progress   in   the  economic 
education   of  the  French  labouring  classes  was  put  beyond 
a  doubt.     Thus  the  congress  at  once  admitted  the  payment 
of  interest  and  even  a  dividend  upon  capital,  thus  abandoning 
the  chimera,  so  long  cherished,  of  gratuitous  credit.     Citizen 
Nicaise,  reporter  to  the  sixth  commission,  uttered  some  very 
sensible   words   on  this    head  :     "  Cabet's  maxim,  from  each 
according  to  his  strength,  to  each  according  to  his  needs,  does  not 
suit  us  because  it  is  unjust.     If  I  must  work,  I  who  am  sober 
and  Industrious,  for  him  whose  laziness   is   as   great   as   his 
appetite  is  enormous,  I  should  be  tempted,  unless  I  were  a 
saint,  to  conceal  my  power  of  working  in  order  to  satisfy  that 
desire  of  better   living  which   is   inherent  in  human  nature. 
Saint-Simon,  in  the  midst  of  errors  which  do  not  here  concern 
us,   enunciated  a  far  superior    principle  :    To  each  individual  \ 
according  to  his  capacity,  to  each  capacity  according  to  its  works.  \ ; 
We  accept  this  rule."     The  principle  upon  which  Louis  Blanc 
wished'"to'Tbund  the   co-operative   factory  is  here  distinctly 
repudiated,  while  the  efficacy  of  individual  interest  as  an  in- 
centive to   action  is  placed   in   a   clear   light.      That  is   the 
necessary  foundation  of  all  economic  work,  of  all  administra- 
tion,  and   of  all   political  organization.     Everywhere   human 
affairs   will   be   well  or  ill  carried  on,  in  proportion  as   the 
responsibility  of  each  is  well  or  ill  defined.     "We  believe  that 
we   shall   be   more   in   unison   with    the   general    opinion   of 
worluhg  men,"  continued  Citizen  Nicaise,  "  in   founding  bur  f 
associations  upon  the  principle  of  paying  interest  and  even  ■ 
dividends  upon  capital.     If  the  savings  of  the  working  men  do  '> 
not  find  an  advantageous  investment  in  the  associations,  they 
will  continue  to  take  a  direction  more  to  their  interest,  and  the 


72  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

associations  must  recommence  their  race  for  capital,  or  must 
accept  the  money  of  capitahsts." 

Citizen  Nicaise^  and  another  working  man,  Citizen  Masquin, 
who  belonged  to  the  "  Co-operative  Society  of  Printers," 
,1  showed  that  the  principal  cause  of  the  frequent  mishaps 
encountered  by  these  associations  was  the  bad  choice  ^f 
managers.  "  The  prime  cause  of  their  ill  success,"  said  the 
former,  "  is  the  inexperience  of  the  associates  and  their  in- 
aptitude for  business.  Their  great  anxiety  has  always  been  to 
produce,  without  even  knowing  how  the  products  were  to  be 
sold  off.  Hence  the  endless  mistakes  in  the  choice  of 
managers.  Generally  the  best  workmen  were  chosen,  which 
deprived  the  factory  of  useful  hands,  and  confided  to  them  a 
business  for  which  they  had  none  of  the  required  qualities. 
"  The  society  is  formed  and  the  factory  opened,"  said  Citizen 
Masquin,  "  then  the  difficulties  begin.  A  capable  man  is 
wanted  as  manager,  but  the  capable  men  have  already  got 
situations,  and  it  is  in  vain  you  offer  them  the  same  salaries  ; 
they  hesitate  because  they  dread  the  responsibility,  and  are 
afraid  that  the  business  may  not  succeed.  In  many  societies 
the  first  comer  has  been  chosen,  and  they  have  smashed." 

In  this  same  congress  the  working  men  recognized  and 
proclaimed  a  fact  of  experience,  which  is  the  death-blow  to 
Lassalle's  great  plan  for  social  renovation,  namely,  that  loaos 
from  the  State  are  the  ruin  of  working  men's  associatigiis.  If 
it  really  only  needed  the  few  millions  of  pounds  demanded  by 
the  German  Socialist  to  transform  all  the  working  men  into 
capitalists  enjoying  the  integral  product  of  their  labour,  where 
is  the  parliament  that  would  not  vote  them  gladly?  Forty 
millions  of  pounds,  nay,  twice  that  sum,  even  without  interest, 
would  be  little  to  accomplish  this  happy  and  peaceful  revolu- 
tion, which  would  avoid  the  risk  of  bloody  and  far  more  costly 
revolutions  in  the  future  ;  but  it  is  an  established  fact — money 
advanced  by  the  State  brings  misfortune. 

In  this  same  working  men's  congress  of  1876,  the  citizen 
Finance,  a  positivist  and  opponent  of  even  the  principle  of  co- 
operation, showed,  statistics  in  hand,  that,  of  all  the  associa- 
tions which  were  subsidized  by  the  State  in  184S,  only  one 


FERDINAND   LASSALLE. 


7Z 


Still  existed.*  The  partisans  of  co-operation  also  recognized 
that,  in  order  to  succeed,  their  system  must  develop  itself  with- 
out State  aid.  "  The  subsidies  of  the  State,"  said  Citizen 
Nicaise,  *'  were  disastrous  to  the  associations  which  accepted 
them.  Their  failure  has  demonstrated  that  the  system  of  sub- 
sidies is  bad,  and  that  only  the  energy  and  perseverance  of  the 
associates,  depending  upon  themselves  alone,  can  solve  the 
problem.  Money  one  has  not  earned  slips  easily  through  the  ■ 
fingers;  one  takes  it  less  into  account  than  that  which,  saved  ^^|^^ 
out  of  necessary  expenses,  represents  privations  endured  in  ' 
order  to  make  up  the  contribution  to  the  society."  Careless- 
ness in  the  preservation  of  borrowed  money  is  not  the  only 
cause  of  the  shipwreck  of  all  subsidized  societies  ;  there  is 
another  and  a  still  more  serious  one.  In  order  to  manage 
capital  well  and  make  the  best  use  of  it,  there  is  wanted,  in  the 
first  place,  the  same  quahties  of  order  and  economy  as  for  its 
creation,  and  others  in  addition  more  rare  and  more  difficult 
to  practise.  He  who  has  been  unable  to  amass  capital  out  of 
his  savings  will  be  still  less  able  to  keep  it  and  turn  it  to 
account.  It  is  precisely  by  exerting  themselves  to  collect 
the  capital  that  the  associates  will  acquire  the  commercial 
experience  indispensable  to  their  success. 

It  is  not  hy  lending  money  to  those  whom  it  wants  to  help 
that  the  State  can  instil  into  them  the  ability  to  use  it  advan- 
tageously, in  the  midst  of  the  numberless  difficulties  of  the 
industrial   struggle.      Thus,    then,    facts   interpreted   by   their 


*  T^hese  facts,  especially  as  they  were  stated  by  working  men,  are  so  ' 
instructive,  that  it  is  worth  while  reproducing  them  in  detail.  In  1848  the" 
Constituent  Assembly  voted,  in  July,  that  is  after  the  revolution  of  June,  a 
subsidy  of  three  millions  of  francs  in  order  to  encourage  the  formation  of 
working  men's  associations.  Six  hundred  applications,  half  coming  from 
Paris  alone,  were  made  to  the  commission  entrusted  with  the  distribution 
of  the  funds,  of  which  only  fifty-six  were  accepted.  In  Paris,  thirty  associa- 
tions, twenty-seven  of  which  were  composed  of  working  men,  comprising 
in  all  434  associates,  received  890,500  francs.  Within  six  months,  three 
of  the  Parisian  associations  failed  ;  and  of  the  434  associates,  seventy-four 
resigned,  fifteen  were  excluded,  and  there  were  eleven  changes  of  managers. 
In  July,  185 1,  eighteen  associations  had  ceased  to  exist.  One  year  later, 
twelve  others  had  vanished.  In  1865  four  were  still  extant,  and  had 
been  more  or  less  successful.  In  1875  there  was  but  a  single  one  left, 
that  of  the  file-cutters,  which,  as  Citizen  Finance  remarked,  was  unrepre- 
sented at  the  congress. 


iiiAi^'- 


C/vC«^v2^ 


Ka^h, 


1 


74  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

causes  have  demonstrated  that  Lassalle  was  wrong  in  demand- 
ing State  aid  for  the  multipUcation  of  working  men's  associations. 
It  would  have  been  to  condemn  them  to  inevitable  ruin.  Every 
reform  which  aims  at  suddenly  transforming  the  social  order 
will  fail,  because  the  very  elements  of  the  transformation  are 
lacking. 

Must  we,  then,  despair  of  the  future  success  of  co-operative 
societies?  I  do  not  think  so.  According  as  working  men 
understand  better  what  is  necessary  to  their  success,  we  shall 
see  more  and  more  of  them  arise  and  prosper.*  The  working 
man,  on  becoming  an  associate-capitalist,  and  receiving  a  pro- 
portional part  of  the  profits,  will  work  better  than  a  mere  wage- 
earner.  The  produce  will  therefore  be  greater — a  most  vital 
consideration.  But  there  remain  three  difficulties  to  overcome. 
In  the  first  place,  good  managers  must  be  found,  and  to  enable 
this  to  be  done  they  must  be  well  paid.  Secondly,  co-opera- 
tion associates  not  only  sums  of  capital,  but  also  men  ;  it  is, 
therefore,  essential  that  a  spirit  of  mutual  support  and  good 
understanding  should  reign  among  them.  Finally,  since  co- 
operation is  republicanism  applied  to  industry,  the  virtue  which 
enables  republics  to  live  must  be  there,  namely,  obedience  to 
established  law  and  authority.  There  is,  therefore,  a  whole 
economic  education  to  be  achieved,  for  which  time  is  necessary. 

*  In  America,  where  the  working  men  are  paid  higher  wages,  they  are 
better  prepared  to  take  part  in  the  direction  of  industrial  enterprises,  and 
frequent  examples  of  successful  co-operative  societies  of  production  are  met 
with.  The  following  are  a  few  taken  from  Scrilmei's  Monthly  Magazine,  and 
from  M.  Limousin's  paper,  Bulletin  dti  Afouvement  Social :— The  Beaverfall 
Co-operative  Foundry,  in  Pennsylvania,  was  founded  in  1872  upon  a  small 
capital  of  4000  dollars  (about  ;^8oo).  It  now  has  16,000  dollars  (^3200) 
capital, and  pays  upon  eachshare  an  annual  dividend  of  1 2  to  1 5  per  cent.  The 
society  comprises  twenty-seven  members.  The  Somerset  Co-operative  Fotmdry 
Company,  in  Massachusetts,  was  established  in  1867,  with  thirty  associates 
and  a  capital  of  14,000  dollars  (^2800).  Now,  its  fifty-three  members  have 
a  capital  of  30,000  dollars  (^6000),  with  a  reserve  fund  of  28,000  dollars, 
and  the  dividends  occasionally  rose  to  44  per  cent.  The  Equitable  Co- 
operative Foundry  of  Rochester,  in  New  York  State,  began  in  1869  vvith 
20,000  dollars  (^^5000),  now  it  has  100,000  dollars  (r{;'25, 000),  derived 
from  accumulated  profits.  Some  co-operative  societies  of  production  have 
succeeded  in  England,  Germany,  Italy,  and  Belgium.  See  the  annual  re- 
ports of  Herr  Schulze-Delitzsch  ;  "  History  of  Co-operation,"  by  G.  Holy- 
oake  ;  and  M.  Leond  'Andrimont's  book,  Le  Mouvement  Co-operatif  en 
Belgiipie. 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  75 

The  object  to  be   attained  is  evidently  that  capital  and 
labour  should  be  united  in  the  same  hands,  under  the  system 
of  production  on  a  large  scale,  as  was  formerly  the  case  in  the 
corporations,  or  as  is  the  case  to-day  with  the  peasant  pro- 
prietor.    This  may  be  accomplished  by  means  of  the  joint- , 
stock  company,  provided  the  capital  be  represented  by  shares  ,  .   ^^ 
of  a  very  small  value.    Suppose,  for  example,  a  great  mill  worth )/     -^ 
thousands  of  pounds,   but  with  shares  of  the  value  of  four 
pounds  only  :   the  workmen,  and  the  employes  of  every  grade 
might  acquire  these  shares  out  of  their  savings ;  they  would 
thus  become  shareholders,  and,   as  such,  owners  of  the  mill. 
Would  not  such  a  joint-stock  company  become  thenceforth  a 
true  co-operative  society  ?     It  would  have  all  the  advantages 
of  one,  without  presenting  the  same  difficulties.     It  would  be, 
above  all,  an  association  of  capital.     The  men  would  be  asso- 
ciated merely  voluntarily  and  temporarily,  in  the  character  of 
shareholders,  and  it  is  easier  to  hold  capital  together  than  men. 
The  joint-stock  company  would  thus  serve  as  a  stepping-stone  j, 
to   co-operation,*  but  this,  however,  need  not  prevent  select  H 
workmen  from  at  once  trying  the  latter.     The  mere  attempt  ;l 
will  do  them  good.    Even  in  the  event  of  failure,  they  will  have  ' 
acquired  experience,  habits  of  order  and  economy,  familiarity 
with  business,  and  a  practical  knowledge  of  economic  questions, 
no  less  desirable  in  their  own  interest  than  in  that  of  social 
order. 

Lassalle  did  not  believe  that  co-operative  societies  would  of 
themselves  bring  about  "the  solution  of  the  social  question."  \ 
"  I  have  never  used  that  expression,"  he  says,  "  because  the  | 
transformation  of  society  will  be  the  work  of  centuries,  and  of 
a  whole  series  of  measures  and  reforms  which  will  be  evolved  . 
organically  out  of  each  other.     I  have   approved  of  co-opera- 
tion merely  as  one  means  of  improving  the  condition  of  the 

*  It  is  stated  in  the  report  of  an  English  society,  "  The  North  of  Eng- 
land Industrial  and  Coal  Company,  Limited,"  that  several  co-operative 
societies  are  large  shareholders  in  the  concern,  which  possesses  blast- 
furnaces and  rotatory  puddling  ovens  at  Carlton,  coal  mines  in  Durham, 
and  smelting  works  at  Cleveland.  Here  is  the  stepping-stone  between  the 
joint-stock  company  and  the  co-operative  society. 


76  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

labourer."  According  to  him,  property,  as  at  present  existing, 
is  only  a  passing  "historical  category." 

Property  as  at  present  constituted,  he  asserts,  consists  in 
drawing  an  income,  without  working,  from  land  or  capitarwKTch 
the  law  attributes  to  you.  Property  according  to  natural  ri^ht, 
on  the  contrary,  should  have  no  other  foundation  than  labour. 
Far  from  wishing  to  abolish  property,  his  only  aim,  he  says,  js 
to  establish  real  individual  ownership,  proportional  to  usejiil 
services.  He  invokes,  for  the  support  of  his  system,  the  theory 
of  Smith  and  Ricardo,  which  makes  all  wealth  spring  from 
labour  alone.  He  says,  with  Bastiat,  that  what  should  be  paid 
for  in  the  product  is  not  the  forces  of  nature,  but  the  labour  of 
man.  The  services  of  natural  agents  are,  or  should  be,  gratuitous. 
Thus  Bastiat,  through  ignoring  certain  truths  established  by  his 
predecessors,  actually  furnished  arms  to  Socialism,  which  he 
considered  it  his  special  mission  to  combat. 

According  to  Lassalle,  when  productive  societies  shall  have 
embraced"all  citizens,  they  will  become  proprietors  of  both  land 
and  capital,  and  the  working  man,  on  taking  his  place  in  the 
factory,  will  obtain  a  life-interest  in  the  instruments  of  his  labour, 
or  of  such  portion  of  the  social  wealth  as  shall  correspond  to 
f  his  work.  This  work  will  be  suited  to  his  ability,  and  his 
remuneration  will  be  equal  to  the  product  of  his  labour.  This, 
as  may  be  seen,  is  nothmg  else  than  the  famous  formula  of 
Saint-Simon,  invoked  at  the  working  men's  congress  in  Paris 
in  1876:  "To  each  individual  according  to  his  capacity,  to 
each  capacity  according  to  its  works." 

Lassalle  respects  no  more  than  Saint-Simon  the  principle 
of  hereditary  "succession  as  it  exists  to-day.  It  is,  he  says,  no 
longer  a  living  institution,  having  its  roots  in  the  moral  and 
juridical  sentiment  of  the  time,  but  rather  a  dead  tradittoh,  wKich 
at  every  moment  is  being  disturbed  by  the  legislator  or  restficted 
in  its  application.  The  Romans  created  testamentary  succes- 
sion, because  they  believed  the  will  of  the  deceased  passed  into 
the  person  of  the  heir  thus  designated.  The  Germans,  Tirom 
whom  we  derived  the  law  of  succession  ab  intestato,  looked 
upon  the  patrimony  as  belonging,  not  to  the  immediate  suc- 
cessor, but  conjointly  to  the  whole  family,  and  thus  the  son,  on 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE.  'J'J 

the  death  of  his  father,  only  took  into  his  hands  the  administra- 
tion of  goods  of  which  he  was  already  co-proprietor.  The  ideas 
of  the  Romans  and  those  of  the  Germans  have  become  utterly 
foreign  to  us,  and  the  principle  of  hereditary  succession  is  no 
longer  rooted  in  our  beliefs. 

'  Herr  H.  von  Sybel  replied  to  Lassalle  that  it  is  with 
hereditary  succession  as  with  royalty.  Nations  no  longer 
believe  in  divine  right,  and  nevertheless  they  still  keep  their 
kings,  because  experience  has  shown  that  constitutional  mon- 
archy guarantees  in  a  convenient  way  public  liberty  and  pros- 
perity. Hereditary  succession  is  no  longer  the  object  of  a 
superstitious  worship,  and  accordingly  statesmen  can  restrict 
the  degrees  of  inheritance  and  impose  duties  upon  succession ; 
but  it  is  an  excellent  means  of  stimulating  work  and  the 
formation  of  capital,  and  it  is  upon  this  ground  that  it  is 
preserved. 

Lassalle  thought  with  the  Saint-Simonians  that  the  golden 
age  lies  before  us.  His  pantheistic  conception  of  history  led 
him  to  beheve  that,  in  consequence  of  an  inherent  law, 
humanity  is  destined  to  reach,  step  by  step,  a  state  in  which 
the  working  man  will  enjoy  all  those  advantages  possessed  to- 
day by  the  boiirgeoisie,  and  in  which,  consequently,  there  would 
be  but  one  class,  obtaining,  by  the  aid  of  science,  ample  satisfac- 
tion of  all  its  needs  through  moderate  and  wholesome  labour. 
Every  man  could  thus  attain  all  the  intellectual  and  moral 
development  of  which  nature  had  made  him  capable.  The 
social  organization  would  no  longer  be  a  hindrance  to  any  one, 
but  would  be  for  all  a  support  and  a  means  of  advancement. 

As  may  easily  be  believed,  the  ideas  of  Lassalle  do  not 
present  any  very  great  originality.  His  views  of  social  recon- 
struction are  borrowed  from  Saint-Simon  and  Louis  Blanc,  his 
criticism  of  Political  Economy  from  Karl  Marx.  Nevertheless, 
the'study  of  his  writings  is  not  devoid  of  utility,  because  in 
more  than  one  point  he  has  shown  that  the  generally  received 
economic  theories  are  superficial,  badly  formulated,  or  even 
entirely  erroneous.  Thus,  his  discussion  upon  the  mode  in 
which  capital  is  formed  is  very  remarkable,  and  so  is  his  picture 
of  the  origin  and  economic  development  of  society. 


V^ 


y8  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

As  recrards  the  means  of  attaining  the  reaHzation  of  that 
social  transformation  of  which  he  dreamed,  Lassalle  com- 
pletely separated  himself  from  Marx.  As  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer 
very  justly  observes,  Marx  considers  all  Europe,  Lassalle  sees 
Germany  alone.  The  former  is  international  and  cosmopolitan, 
the  latter  national  and  German.  Marx  held  that  no  social 
reform  was  possible  in  an  isolated  state ;  it  was  only  after  a 
universal  revolution  had  overturned  every  throne  and  every 
altar  that  equality  could  be  estabUshed.  Lassalle,  on  the  con- 
trary, wished  to  introduce  reforms  peacefully  into  a  single  state, 
to  serve  as  a  model  which  others  would  be  obliged  to  imitate. 
This  State  was  to  be  United  Germany.  He  even  hoped,  like 
the  physiocrats  of  the  eighteenth  century,  that  some  sovereign 
or  some  great  minister  would  perceive  that  he  had  every  interest 
in  gaining  the  affection  of  his  people,  by  bettering  their  condi- 
tion. It  is  the  Utopia  of  Imperial  Socialism,  such  as  Louis 
Napoleon  imagined  in  his  prison  of  Ham,  and  such  as,  they  say, 
Prince  Bismarck  dreams  of  to-day.  Lassalle  held,  and  not  with- 
out reason,  that  a  bourgeois  republic  would  be  less  ready  than  a 
monarchy  to  accept  radical  reforms,  since  such  reforms  would 
necessarily  diminish  the  preponderance  of  the  leisured  classes, 
while  they  might  increase  the  popularity  and  authority  of  the 
sovereign.  Lassalle  was  a  clear-sighted  politician  with  a  keen 
historical  sense.  As  early  as  1859  he  foresaw  and  hastened 
by  his  wishes  the  struggle  between  Prussia  and  Austria,  and, 
though  he  died  in  1864,  he  predicted  the  war  between  France 
and  Germany. 

He  was  by  no  means  an  obstinate  doctrinaire,  as  republicans 

often  are.     He  understood  that  the  same  institutions,  even  if 

republican,  could  not  be  equally  suitable  to  all  the  peoples  of 

the  globe,  different   as  they  are  in  manners,  social  condition, 

and  intellectual  development.     Fanatical  as  he  was  about  co- 

f,  operation,  he  believed  it  would  take  at  least  two  centuries — 

\  Rodbertus  said  five — to  bring  about  the  complete  transforma- 

i  tion  of  society  and  the  suppression  of  the  system  of  working 

I  for  wages.      It  was  not,  therefore,  by  means  of  any  violent 

revolution  that  he  believed  his  projects  might  be  realized. 

In  this  respect  he  separated  himself  completely  from  his 


FERDINAND  LASSALLE. 


79 


pet  heroes,  the  men  of  the 
taught   him   the   theory  of 
moments  "  throu 


French  revolution. 


Hegel 


had: 


organic 


evolution,  and  of  those 
successive  "moments"  tiirough  which  the  historical  " process "|[ 
must  pass.  He  had  a  lively  sympathy  for  Prince  Bismarck 
who  was,  in  fact,  soon  going  to  execute  his  political  programme 
by  founding  German  unity  upon  the  humiliation  of  Austria,  and 
by  introducing  direct  universal  suffrage  for  the  elections  to  the 
central  parliament.  Some  time  before  his  death,  in  1S64,  he 
endeavoured  to  see  him,  and  he  even  made  his  partisans  vote 
in  favour  of  the  man  who  as  yet  only  represented  the  principle 
of  monarchical  authority,  founded  upon  a  Spartan  military 
system  which  embraced  the  entire  nation. 

Up  to  the  present  his  dream  has  not  been  realized.  Prince 
Bismarck  has  approached  Socialism,  but  he"has  not  yet  put 
down  the  principle  of  wages.  Lassalle  understood,  tetter  than 
those  Socialists  from  whom  he  borrowed  his  plans  of  reform, 
that  society  cannot  be  transformed  with  the  stroke  of  a  magi- 
cian's wand ;  nevertheless,  he  expected  too  much  from  the 
initiative  of  the  State.  The  essential  truth,  which  must  be 
repeated  to  the  working  classes,  and  which  is  slowly  penetrating 
thein",  is,  that  changes  in  the  organization  of  society  never  are 
and  never  will  be  accomplished  otherwise  than  slowly,  and  that 
it  is  impossible  to  achieve  a  social  revolution  by  decrees  in  the 
same  way  as  a  political  revolution.  Give  to  Karl  Marx  or  to 
Lassalle  full  power  to  dispose  of  the  land,  the  capital,  and  all 
the  wealth  of  the  country  at  their  pleasure,  and  to  make  them 
"  collective  property,"  yet  the  corporations  of  working  men  or 
the  social  factories  to  whom  the  instruments  of  labour  would  be 
entrusted,  would  not  be  capable  of  organizing  and  directing 
production.  Even  picked  working  men  succeed  only  very 
exceptionally  in  making  co-operative  productive  associations 
prosperous,  while  they  always  fail  when  the  working  men  do 
not  themselves  form  their  own  capital.  No  doubt  those 
economists  are  mistaken  who  imagine  that  the  laws  which  now 
govern  economic  facts  are  immutable,  because  they  are  natural 
laws.  History  and  geography  demonstrate  that  human  societies 
have  lived  and  still  live  under  conditions  very  different  and  very 
variable.     Humanity  has  probably  not  reached  the  final  end 


L-^-aI  ^[ 


80  .     THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  its  career,  and  in  a  thousand  years  laws  and  institutions  will 
be  very  different  from  what  they  are  to-day.  The  visible 
and  universal  progress  of  democracy  enables  us  to  foresee  that 
there  will  be  more  equality.  But  just  as  in  geology  we  have 
abandoned  the  theories  of  great  cosmic  revolutions  and  succes- 
sive epochs  of  creation,  in  order  to  admit  that  those  amazing 
changes  of  which  our  globe  has  been  the  theatre  were  accom- 
plished slowly  and  insensibly  by  the  constant  action  of  the 
ordinary  forces  of  nature,  so  in  sociology,  we  are  coming  to 
believe  that  profound  modifications  can  and  will  introduce 
themselves  into  the  social  organization,  but  that  they  will  take 
place  slowly  and  insensibly,  according  as  men  acquire  more 
intelligence,  more  learning,  a  higher  sense  of  right,  and  a  more 
complete  Icnowledge  of  the  conditions  of  economic  production. 


^vvty  li^  eUrM- 


(     Si     ) 


CHAPTER  VI. 

CONSERVATIVE    SOCIALISTS. 

THE  words  "Socialist"  and  "Conservative"  seem  to  clash 
wTien"imited."Does  not  the  one  wish  to  destroy  all  that 
the  other  desires  to  preserve  ?  Nevertheless,  there  is  a  party 
which  has  adopted  this  denomination,  and  it  is  not  too  much 
to  say  that,  up  to  a  certain  point,  Prince  Bismarck  is  its  most 
illustrious  representative. 

The  German  mind,  above  all  things,  seeks  to  escape  the 

reproach  of  Ehiseifigkett,  that  is  to  say,  the  habit  of  viewing 

things  from  one  side  alone.     In  general,  objects  have  a  light 

and  a  dark  side.     He  who  perceives  only  the  side  illumined 

by  the  sun  will  see  everything  rose-coloured ;    he  who  stays 

on  the  shady  side  will  see  everything  black.    If  any  one  happens 

to  make  the  circuit  of  the  object,  he  will  maintain  that  it  is  at 

once  white  and  black,  light  and  dark,  and  in  these  apparent 

contradictions  there  will  be  a  kind  of  logic  and  a  reflex  of 

reality.     It  is  thus  the  Conservative  Socialist  has  sprung  into 

being.     Read  some  of  his  pages,  and  you  will  think  that  they 

were  written  bv  an  irreconcilable  foe  of  social   order :  read 

further,  and  you  will  meet  a  man  in  whose  eyes  all  reform  is 

a  mistake,  and  all  progress  a  step  towards  barbarism.     Take 

Prince  Bismarck ;  no  man  could  show  with  more  force  and 

precision  the  transformations  of  all  kinds  which  give  a  new 

aspect  to  our  epoch.     As  he  has  acted  a  conspicuous  role  in 

this  change,  he  may  be  called  one  of  the  great  revolutionaries 

of  our  times.     And  yet,  in  certain  aspects,  he  is  the  very  type 

cf  the  feudal  lord,  governing  his  vassals  with  a  hand  of  iron — 

G 


82  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

for  their  good,  he  is   convinced ;  but  it  is  their  good  as  he 
understands  it,  and  reaHzed  by  him  and  not  by  them. 

Existing  society,  hi  the  period  of  transition  through  which 
we  are  passing,  also  presents  some  striking  contrasts.  No 
doubt  science,  as  applied  to  production,  astonishes  us  with'  its 
marvels.  Each  international  exhibition,  more  magnificent  than 
its  predecessors,  exhausts  our  admiration  more  and  more.  The 
rich  are  infinitely  richer  than  formerly,  the  well-to-do  classes  are 
far  more  numerous,  and  the  labourer  himself  is  certainly  better 
provided  with  comforts  than  heretofore.  Nevertheless,  the 
misery  in  the  manufacturing  centres  cannot  be  denied.  What 
want,  what  suffering,  whenever  a  prolonged  crisis  restricts  the 
demand  for  labour  and  lowers  the  rate  of  wages  !  It  is  the 
description  of  these  evils,  attributed  to  competition,  which 
forms  the  starting-point  for  all  shades  of  Socialism.  The 
,'  greater  part  of  Karl  Marx's  famous  book.  Das  Kapital,  is 
nothing  more  than  an  abstract  of  the  miserable  and  everi 
^  revolting  facts  which  are  proved  by  English  parliamentary 
documents.  The  Conservative  Socialists  accept  as  exact  this 
sombre  picture  of  our  present  social  state,  while  they  refer  its 
cause  to  industrialism  and  "bankocracy." 

In  order  to  remedy  these  disorders  three  systems  are 
advocated. 

The  Economist  says  :  Let  natural  laws  have  their  course. 
Liberty  cures  the  wounds  she  causes.  Open  a  free  career  to 
individual  initiative,  and  all  will  be  for  the  best  in  the  best 
of  all  possible  worlds. 

The  Democratic  Socialist  asserts  that  happiness  and  justice 
will  be  established  as  soon  as  the  instruments  of  production 
shall  be  made  collective  property. 

Finally,  the  Conservative  Socialist  sees  salvation  only  in 
I  the  return  to  those  institutions  which,  under  the  old  regime, 
I  guaranteed  order  and  quiet  to  men.  Free  trade,  free  com- 
I  petition,  free  usury;  these,  according  to  him,  are  the  plagues 
that  bring  evil  to  all  societies  upon  which  they  fasten  them- 
n  selves. 

One  of  the  leaders  of  the  Liberal  party  in  the  German 
Parliament,  Herr  Ludwig  Bamberger,  justly  points  out  a  singular 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  83 

fact  in  the  situation  of  his  country.  Germany,  he  says,  has 
become  the  "typical  ground"  of  the  war  of  classes.  True 
SociaUsm  exists  elsewhere,  in  France,  in  England,  in  Italy; 
but  in  those  countries,  at  least  all  whose  interests  are  menaced 
unite  to  defend  their  interests.  Germany  alone  presents  the 
spectacle  of  numerous  groups  of  persons,  rich,  noble,  learned, 
and  pious,  declaring  war  against  the  bourgeoisie.  Country 
gendemen  attack  capital,  no  doubt  to  improve  their  farming ; 
professors  declare  that  the  road  to  opulence  passes  close  by  the 
prison ;  and  finally,  bishops  conspire  with  demagogues.  There 
alone,  he  says,  is  seen  the  strange  sight  of  persons  who,  with 
a  frivolity  most  aristocratic,  make  a  game  of  undermining  the 
foundations  of  social  order,  in  the  pretended  interests  of  religion 
and  morality. 

This  phenomenon,  noticed  by  Herr  Bamberger,  appears  to 
me  to  have  two  causes  :  first,  the  dread  of  "  one-sidedness,"  as 
I  have  already  mentioned,  and,  in  the  case  of  some,  the  scien- 
tific spirit ;  and  secondly,  the  exigencies  of  electoral  struggles. 
When  there  are  two  parties  already  opposed  to  each  other,  and 
a  third  appears  commanding  many  votes,  it  will  belong  to  the 
one  which  is  ready  to  make  the  most  concessions  in  order  to 
gain  its  support.  The  Socialists  command  seven  hundred 
thousand  votes;  is  it  to  be  wondered  at  if  Ultramontanes  and 
the  Feudal  party  endeavour  to  gain  their  support  against  the 
Liberals," tHeir  present  opponents.?.  Whatever  Herr  Bamberger 
may  say,  such  alliances  as  these  have  been  seen  in  all  countries. 

The  origin  of  Conservative  Socialism  mav  be  referred  to 
Rodbertus-Jagetzow,  because  he  was  the  first  to  give  a  scienr 
tific~l)asis  to  socialistic  criticism.  Prince  Bismarck,  in  the 
tribune^ of  the  German  parliament,  recently  praised  this  solitarj^ 
thinker,  whose  inliuence  has  been  so  great,  although  his  name 
has  not  reached  the  ears  of  the  masses.  He  has  been  justly  u 
styled  the  Ricardo  of  Socialism.  His  work,  which  appeared 
in  1842,  Zur  Erkentniss  iinsere  Staatstnirthschaftlichcn  Zustande 
("  Explanation  of  our  Economic  Situation  "),  already  contained 
in  germ  the  ideas  of  which  others  have  since  made  use,  and 
which  he  himself  developed  in  his  other  book,  Zur  Beleuchtung 
der  sociakn  Frage.     In  fragments  of  his  notes  and  in  a  part 


\t 


84  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  his  correspondence  with  Lassalle,  published  by  A.  V/agner,* 
he  shows  in  what  respect  he  may  be  called  conservative. 
"  Our  ways  of  understanding  law  and  the  philosophy  of  history," 
he  writes,  in  speaking  of  Lassalle,  "were  similar,  in  that  we 
did  not  consider  the  succession  of  social  and  political  forms 
as  exhausted  by  the  establishment  of  the  constitutional  or  the 
representative  system.  We  were  both  convinced  that,  by 
placing  ourselves  at  the  point  of  view  of  a  philosophy  of  law 
more  ideal  and  rigorous  than  that  received  to-day,  we  should 
observe  imperfections  in  property  as  at  present  applied  to  land 
and  capital,  and  we  should  discern  a  form  of  appropriation 
purer  and  more  equitable,  by  virtue  of  which  the  share  of 
each  would  be  proportional  to  services  rendered.  In  practice 
we  were  unable  to  agree,"  adds  Rodbertus.  "  Lassalle,  as  we 
know,  wished  to  change  the  condition  of  working  men  in  a 
short  time,  by  making  them  join  associations  of  production, 
founded  by  means  of  State  aid.  I  wished  to  preserve  the 
principle  of  wages,  while  supposing  a  reform  to  be  undertaken 
by  the  State.  Lassalle  wished  to  make  a  political  party  out 
of  the  Socialist  party,  and  for  this  purpose  he  demanded 
universal  suffrage.  I  wished  to  confine  its  action  to  the  purely 
scientific  and  economic  ground." 

Lassalle  was  an  ardent  agitator  who  believed  the  goal 
would  soon  be  reached,  while  Rodbertus  understood  so  well 
the  slowness  of  social  transformations,  that  it  was  only  after 
3  the  lapse  of  five  centuries  that  he  looked  for  the  realization 
of  his  ideal — property  in  proportion  to  labour.  Rodbertus 
approached  the  present  "Agrarian"  party  in  that  he  defended 
energetically  the  agricultural  interests,  which  he  maintained 
were  sacrificed  to  the  financiers.  As  he  himself  farmed  his 
property  at  Jagetzow,  he,  like  Von  Thuenen,  understood 
thoroughly  all  questions  relating  to  rural  economy,  but,  unlike 
the  "  Agrarians,"  he  did  not  hope  to  re-establish  the  regime  of 
times  past. 

The  most  retrograde  shade  of  Conservative  Socialism  was 

*  Briefe  vo?i  Ferdinand  Lassalle  an  Karl  Rodbertus-yagetzoiv  ?nit  einer 
Einleihing  vott  Adolph  Wagner.  Berlin,  1870  (Letters  of  F.  Lassalle  to 
K.  Rodbertus-Jagetzow,  with  an  introduction  by  Adolph  Wagner). 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  8$ 

represented  by  President  von  Gerlach,  who,  under  the  name 
of  Rundschauer  (Spectator),  treated  the  social  question  in  the 
Kreuzzeiiung  (Journal  of  the  Cross),  the  organ  of  the  feudal 
party.  He  endeavoured  to  show  that  landowners  and  labourers 
are  alike  sacrificed  to  the  errors  of  economic  liberalism  and  to 
the  art  of  usury  ( Wuche7-kunst\  which  characterize  our  times. 
He  wished,  above  all,  to  maintain  the  land  system  still  in  vogue 
in  Eastern  Prussia,  where  the  peasants  live  and  work,  as 
formerly,  under  the  rod  of  their  seigneurs ;  and  he  demanded 
that  the  artisan  class,  at  once  workers  and  owners  of  the 
instruments  of  their  labour,  should  be  protected  against  the 
encroachments  of  the  large  system  of  industry,  which  is  dividing 
the  world  of  production  into  two  distinct  and  hostile  classes, 
capitalists  and  wage-earners. 

One  of  Marx's  principal  arguments  consists  in  showing  how 
competition  for  low  prices  brings  about  the  fatal  triumph  of 
great  establishments,  which,  rising  upon  the  ruins  of  small 
manufactures,  reconstruct  a  feudalism  of  finance  and  industry 
based  upon  the  serfage,  not  of  law,  but  of  fact,  of  the  pro- 
letariat. President  von  Gerlach  developes  the  same  thesis, 
but  he  draws  a  different  conclusion  from  Marx.  The  only 
means  of  saving  the  artisan  is,  according  to  him,  to  reconstruct 
a  class  in  which  capital  and  labour  shall  be  united,  and  to 
re-establish  corporations  created  by  law  and  armed  with  a 
monopoly,  as  in  the  Middle  Ages. 

This  is  the  main  point  upon  which  the  two  champions  of 
Social  Catholicism  in  France  recently  split.  Both  wanted 
trade  corporations ;  but  M.  Perin  declared  for  freedom  in 
trade,  while  M.  de  Mun  maintained  that  then  there  would  be 
no  real  reform,  no  appreciable  change  in  the  present  system. 
It  is  certain  that,  along  with  serious  inconveniences  and  certain 
abuses,  the  corporation  offered  real  advantages ;  but  it  must 
not  be  supposed  that  the  past  can  be  recalled  at  will.  The 
same  cause  that  makes  institutions  perish  prevents  their  being 
born  again.  If  the  products  of  the  corporation  are  dearer, 
foreign  competition  will  kill  it.  The  only  way  to  make  them 
live  artificially  would  be  to  apply  the  system  of  the  tobacco 
excise,      I  do  not  believe  that  if  it  should  be  necessary  to 


1 


86  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

subject  all  industries  to  this  strait-waistcoat,  any  nation  would 
submit  to  it. 

Lassalle,  replying  to  Gerlach,  shows  clearly  how  chimerical 
are  these  dreams  of  restoring  the  past.  "  Given,"  he  says, 
"  the  organic  force  of  the  large  industrial  system,  it  is  as 
impossible  to  arrest  its  course  as  to  stop  streams  from  flowing 
into  a  river  and  helping  to  swell  it.  But,  just  as  we  may 
possess  ourselves  of  the  force  of  the  stream  and  take  advantage 
of  it,  so  we  may  utilize  the  very  development  of  the  large 
industrial  system  in  order  to  reconstitute  a  middle  class  of 
working-men  capitalists,  as  in  the  old  corporations,  though 
founded  upon  another  basis.  It  is  more  in  conformity  with 
the  philosophy  of  history  to  make  use  of  the  forces  resulting 
from  the  natural  evolution  of  civilization  in  order  to  attain 
our  ends,  than  to  attempt  to  put  on  the  drag,  which  would 
moreover  be  quite  useless." 

The  Gerlach  group  has  been  designated  under  the  name 
of  Zunftreaction — "reaction  in  favour  of  corporations."  Two 
well-known  writers,  who  defend  the  same  general  ideas.  Pro- 
fessor 'Huber  and  Councillor  Wagener,  separate  themselves 
from  Gerlach  upon  this  point. 

If  there  is  a  social  question,  says  Professor  Huber,  it  |s 
because  wages  are  too  often  insufficient ;  and  why  is  this  ? 
Because  the  lowering  in  the  price  of  manufactured  articles, 
resulting  from  diminution  in  the  cost  of  production,  is  always 
obtained  by  the  reduction  of  wages.  In  point  of  fact  this  is 
far  from  correct. 

It  would  be  better,  adds  Huber,  to  arrive  at  the  same  result 
by  a  diminution  of  profits.  It  is  not  by  virtue  of  any  moral, 
rational,  or  economic  law  that  one  of  the  parties  who  joins  in 
the  production  of  wealth  should  always  be  sacrificed  to  the 
other.  The  remuneration  of  labour  should  not  be  fixed  in  an 
arbitrary  manner,  but  by  equity.  Now  equity  demands  that, 
when  capital  has  received  its  interest,  and  labour  its  wages,  the 
surplus  profit  should  be  divided  between  the  two  parties  in 
proportion  to  their  services.  But  who  shall  fix  this  share  ?  It 
could  only  be  by  a  sort  of  jury  of  true  men,  in  which  masters 
and  workmen  should  be  equally  represented,  and  the  decisions 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  8/ 

of  which  should  have  legal  force.  The  distribution  of  wealth 
would  thus  be  regulated,  no  more,  as  nowadays,  by  the  rude 
conflict  of  interests,  that  is  to  say,  in  reality  by  the  law 
of  the  strongest,  but  as  in  the  ancient  corporations,  by  a 
principle  of  justice.  Of  course  it  is  not  proposed  to  re-estabhsh 
the  trade  guilds,  with  their  monopolies  and  restrictions,  but  to 
subject  the  whole  economic  world  to  an  industrial  bureaucracy, 
and  to  a  collection  of  tribunals,  which  would  be  new  organs  of 
law.  This  system  is  clearly  inspired  by  a  love  of  justice,  only 
it  would  be  very  difficult  of  application  in  the  existing  economic 
world. 

Professor  Huber  is  dead,  but  Councillor  Wagener  still  lives, 
and  has  even  become  a  most  influential  personage  ;  for,  it  is 
said,  the  Imperial  Chancellor  gladly  consults  him  in  economic 
matters.* 

This  is  what  President  Gerlach  wrote  in  reply  to  Councillor 
Wagener,  who  must  not  be  confounded  with  another  well- 
known  Economist,  Adolf  Wagner,  the  eminent  professor  of  the 
University  of  Berlin  :  "  Nothing  can  arrest  this  potent  solvent 
which  we  see  at  work  under  our  eyes  and  which  is  sweeping 
away  all  ancient  institutions.  The  trade  guilds  of  olden  times 
cannot  be  re-established,  but  the  labour  question  really 
consists  in  discovering  an  industrial  organization  which  shall 
guarantee,  as   of  old,  the   rights  of  the  labourer,  who  is   at 

*  To  Herr  Wagener  has  been  attributed  a  work  entitled  Die  Lbsung 
dcr  socialen  Frage  vom  Standpimkt  dcr  Wirklichkeit  und  Praxis  von 
ciiicm  praktischen  Staatsmannc,  1878.  In  1874  he  was  sent  to  the 
economic-socialist  congress  of  Eisenach  by  Prince  Bismarck,  as  he  men- 
tioned in  his  speech  of  the  17th  September,  1879.  In  1863  he  wrote  for 
the  ultra-conservative  newspaper,  the  Krcuzzeitimg.  The  author  of  the 
work,  Die  Losimg,  has  developed  the  principle  of  "Socialistic  Royalty." 
"  Monarchical  institutions,"  he  says,  "can  only  have  an  assured  future  by 
returning  to  their  original  form,  and  showing  themselves,  in  theory  as  well 
as  in  practice,  the  shield  of  the  weak  and  the  protector  of  the  wretched. 
As  Stein  has  said,  royalty  must  again  strike  its  roots  into  the  deep  soil  ^ 
of  the  masses  of  the  people.  The  monarchy  of  the  future  must  be  a' 
Socialistic  monarchy  or  it  will  cease  to  exist.  If  monarcliy  seeks  its 
supports  amongst  the  lords  of  industry,  the  princes  of  the  Stock  Exchange,  ^ 
and  the  ranks  of  the  upper  ten  thousand,  its  authority  will  diminish  and 
it  will  end  by  foundering  in  that  great  democratic  storm  which  will  put 
the  people  in  the  place  of  the  aristocracy  and  the  organs  of  science  in 
that  of  the  ministers  of  religion."  Is  not  this  the  very  programme  of 
prince  Bismarck  ? 


88  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

present  too  much  isolated.     Upon  the  solution  of  this  question 

depend  the  future  of  States  and  the  fate  of  civilization.     It 

remains   to  be  seen  whether  the   different  classes  of  society 

have  enough  forethought,  energy,  and  wisdom  to  contribute  to 

the  constitution  of  a  new  order  of  things.     If  they  give  proof 

Il  of  these  qualities,  they  will  be  governed  by  free  mstitutions  and 

?.;  elected  rulers  ;  if  not,  they  will  be  kept  down  by  the  iron  hand 

pof  Csesarism."     Herr  Wagener,   like  Prof.   Huber,  advocated 

\^  the  immediate  formation  of  trade  councils,  in  which  working 

men  should  have  their  representatives,  and  which  should  be 

invested  with  the  right  of  settling  wages.      In  England  it  is 

well  known  that,  in  cases  of  strikes,  masters  and  men  often 

submit  their  differences  to  arbitration.     The  proposal,  then,  is 

to   create   a  body  of  permanent  arbitrators,  and  to   give   an 

executive  force  to  their  decisions. 

From  1866  to  1S70  foreign  affairs  absorbed  all  attention, 
and  orthodox  Political  Economy  was  all-powerful  in  the 
councils  of  the  Government  and  in  the  Chambers.  It  was 
there  represented  by  distinguished  men,  such  as  the  Minister 
Delbruck,  the  Deputies  Lasker,  Braun,  Bamberger,  Julius 
Faucher,  etc.  It  is  to  their  influence  that  are  due  the  abolition 
of  laws  against  usury,  a  policy  of  free-trade  shown  by  the 
reduction  or  suppression  of  certain  custom  duties  and  the 
monetary  reform,  upon  the  basis  of  a  gold  standard,  necessitating 
the  forced  sale  of  silver.  The  Imperial  Chancellor  did  not 
interfere,  because  "it  did  not  belong  to  his  department."  But 
his  ideas  are  not  by  any  means  those  of  the  orthodox  economy. 
The  Protectionists  have  always  placed  their  hopes  in  him,  and 
he  recently  proved,  by  bringing  about  an  increase  of  the 
custom  duties,  that  he  is  on  their  side.* 

*  In  1876  I  was  present  in  Eisenach  at  the  "  Social  Science  Congress" 
of  the  Kathedersocialisten.  In  the  first  sitting  Herr  Rudolf  Meyer  rose 
to  propose  that  the  question  of  German  industry,  and  of  the  means  of 
remedying  the  intense  crisis  through  which  it  was  passing,  should  be  placed 

■,  on  the  orders  of  the  day.  As  Herr  Meyer  was  a  friend  of  Councillor 
Wagener,  it  got  noised  about  that  he  had  been  sent  to  Eisenach  by  the 

;  Chancellor  in  order  to  obtain  a  vote  in  favour  of  protection.  To  escape 
the  danger  it  was  ruled  from  the  chair  that,  since  the  question  was  not  "on 
the  programme  of  the  congress,  it  could  not  be  discussed.     We  may  add 

'  that  this  supposition  was  unfounded,  for  shortly  afterwards  Herr  Meyer 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  89 

Prince  Bismarck  is,  in  realit}^,  a  type  of  the  Conservative 
Socialist.  It  were  superfluous  to  prove  in  what  respects  he  is 
Conservative ;  but  his  SociaHsm  consists  in  his  admitting  that 
there  is  a  social  question,  and  that  an  effort  must  be  made  to 
solve  it.  Now,  everything  is  contained  in  this.  The  orthodox 
Economist  does  not,  indeed,  say  that  everything  under  the  sun 
is  perfect,  for  statistical  science  is  too  strong  for  him  ;  but  he 
pretends  that  all  the  relations  of  human  life  are  best  adjusted, 
by  allowing  the  utmost  free  play  to  the  activity  of  individuals, 
actuated  by  motives  of  self-interest.  That  being  the  case,  the 
State  has  nothing  to  do  but  to  strike  off  the  last  shackles  which 
still  fetter  universal  competition,  both  at  home  and  abroad. 
But  that  is  by  no  means  Bismarck's  opinion.  Not  in  vain 
did  he  listen  with  such  relish  to  Lassalle's  conversation,  that 
he  would  have  liked  to  have  him  as  his  next  door  neighbour 
and  daily  companion  in  the  country.  Lassalle's  red  mark  has  1 
left  a  visible  stain  on  Bismarck's  white  uniform  ;  and,  believing  | 
that  it  is  just  and  right  to  improve  the  condition  of  the  j 
labouring  classes,  he  thinks  it  is  the  duty  of  the  State  to  assist  ' 
and  relieve  them.  Lassalle  asked  the  State  for  100,000,000 
thalers  for  the  purpose  of  reconstructing  the  existing  social 
system  by  the  foundation  of  productive  co-operative  societies. 
And  although  Bismarck  feels  aggrieved  that  any  one  should 
have  thought  him  capable  of  treating  a  sum  of  7000  thalers 
as  a  mere  trifle,  he  is  far  from  repudiating  Lassalle's  idea. 

"  If  some  one,"  he  said,  in  the  sitting  of  the  German 
Parliament  on  the  17th  September,  1877,  "wished  to  attempt 
a  great  enterprise  of  this  kind,  it  is  quite  possible  that  he 
would  need  100,000,000  thalers.  Besides,  the  idea  itself  does 
not  strike  me  as  absolutely  preposterous  and  absurd.  In  the 
Ministry  of  Agriculture  we  make  experiments  as  to  the 
different  systems  of  cultivation.  We  do  the  same  in  our 
manufactures.  Would  it  not  be  a  good  thing  to  try  the  like 
experiments  in  respect  of  human  labour,  and  to  attempt,  by 

was  condemned  to  eighteen  months'  imprisonment  for  attacks  against  the 
Chancellor,  and,  in  order  to  escape  this  severe  penalty,  he  fled  abroad. 
He  ought  to  receive  our  warmest  thanks  for  having  compiled  one  of  the 
most  instructive  books  that  can  be  read,  and  which  should  be  carefully 
studied  by  any  one  wishing  to  understand  our  times. 


90  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

bettering  the  condition  of  the  working  man,  to  solve  th^ 
question  which,  though  usually  called  Democratic  Socialism, 
I  should  prefer  to  speak  of  simply  as  the  social  question? 
The  only  reproach  that  could  be  urged  against  me  for  not 
having  pursued  this  course,  is  that  I  have  not  persevered  till  I 
reached  a  satisfactory  result.  But  I  have  not  had  time  enough 
to  devote  to  it ;  for  foreign  politics  have  engrossed  the  whole 
of  my  attention.  But  the  moment  I  have  time  and  opportunity, 
I  am  resolved  to  renew  these  efforts,  which,  however  people 
may  blame  me  for  them,  I  claim  some  credit  for  attempting." 
In  this  speech  he  is  defending  himself  against  the  charge  of 
having,  in  furtherance  of  his  designs,  employed  certain  Socialist 
agents.  But  he  recognizes  the  existence  of  a  great  problem,  the 
greatest,  perhaps,  of  the  present  day,  and  he  is  not  disinclined 
to  accept  the  ideas  of  Rodbertus  and  Lassalle. 

In  another  speech  he  says  still  more  distinctly  that  the 
function  of  the  King,  that  is,  of  the  State,  is  to  elevate  the 
labouring  classes.  In  1865  he  introduced  to  the  King  a 
deputation  of  working  men  from  Wustegiersdorf,  in  Silesia,  who 
wished  personally  to  lay  their  grievances  before  their  sovereign. 
Being  attacked  on  this  score,  he  replied,  in  the  very  midst  of 
the  Prussian  Parliament,  "  Gentlemen,  the  Kings  of  Prussia 
have  never  aimed  at  being  the  kings  of  the  rich.  Frederick  the 
Great  used  to  say,  '  When  I  am  king  I  will  be  a  true  beggars' 
king,'  meaning,  from  the  first,  to  stand  up  for  the  protection  of 
the  poor.  Our  kings  have  remained  true  to  this  principle. 
They  have  promoted  the  emancipation  of  the  serf,  and  have 
thus  created  a  prosperous  class  of  peasants.  Perhaps  too — 
they  are,  at  any  rate,  making  it  the  object  of  their  serious 
efforts — they  will  succeed  in  contributing  something  to  the 
improvement  of  the  working  man's  condition." 

These  words  sum  up  the  programme  of  the  party  ojF 
Monarchical  Christian  Socialists,  which  has  just  appeared  on 
the  scene  with  a  grand  display  of  learning  and  eloquence. 
Again,  Prince  Bismarck's  socialistic  proclivities  were  displayed 
in  the  question  of  the  purchase  of  all  railways  by  the  State. 
The  arguments  advanced  in  support  of  this  proposal  may  be 
applied  to  many  other  industries ;  for  the  successful  working  of 


J 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  9 1 

a  great  net-work  of  iron  roads  is  one  of  the  most  complicated 
of  industrial  enterprises.  It  requires  special  knowledge,  not 
only  for  the  maintenance  of  the  line,  but  also  for  the  choice 
and  construction  of  the  rolling-stock.  It  needs  administrative 
capacity  to  organize  the  staff  of  officials,  and  get  them  to  work 
together,  as  well  as  sound  commercial  judgment  to  regulate 
the  scale  of  charges.  In  a  word,  all  those  qualities  must  be 
combined  which  go  to  make  up  at  once  the  manufacturer  and 
the  merchant.  Consequently,  if  the  State  is  to  undertake  this 
duty,  which  is  one  of  the  most  difficult  to  be  found  in  the 
whole  sphere  of  industry,  it  might,  a  fortiori,  be  intrusted  with 
the  working  of  the  mines  of  Saarbriick  or  of  the  Harz  Mountains, 
the  cultivation  of  lands,  as  in  the  case  of  the  State  farms,  and, 
in  fact,  the  production  of  all  the  principle  articles  of  commerce, 
whether  in  the  shape  of  raw  materials  or  manufactured  goods. 
There  is  no  reason  for  stopping  short  anywhere  in  this  direction. 
The  only  logical  conclusion  is,  that  we  should  place  every 
industry  under  the  direct  control  of  the  State,  which  is,  in  fact, 
the  ideal  of  the  extreme  Socialist. 

Latterly,  Prince  Bismarck's  socialistic  tendencies  have  become 
still  more  marked,  and  he  now  chooses  his  advisers  in  economic 
matters  from  the  extreme  left  of  the  Katheder-socialisten 
("  Socialists  of  the  Chair").  In  the  spring  of  1877,  during  his  : 
solitude  at  Varzin,  it  is  said  that  he  employed  himself  in  pro- 
foundly studying  social  questions.  One-  cannot  help  admiring  . 
the  resolution  of  this  statesman,  who,  in  the  midst  of  the  painful 
preoccupations  of  a  foreign  policy  so  full  of  difficulties,  devotes 
months  and  years  to  the  search  of  means  for  the  amelioration 
of  the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes.  I  know  no  more 
decisive  proof  of  the  actual  importance  of  the  problem.  Be- 
sides his  private  secretary,  Herr  Lothar  BUcher,  the  Chancellor 
has  several  times  consulted  Herr  Adolf  Wagner,  Professor  in 
the  University  of  Berlin,  whose  theory  of  property  is  funda- 
mentally the  same  as  that  of  Rodbertus  and  Dr.  Schjeffle, 
former  minister  in  Austria,  whose  recent  work,  the  "  Quintes- 
sence of  Socialism,"  places  him  in  the  ranks  of  Socialists.  We 
all  know  that,  as  a  result  of  his  meditations  and  conversations, 
Prince  Bismarck  presented  to  the  Prussian  Parliament  a  pro- 


92  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

ject  for  the  creation  of  a  general  insurance  fund  for  disabled 
workmen,  to  be  supported  by  the  proceeds  of  the  tobacco 
monopoly  and  by  subscriptions  levied  from  employers.  The 
tax  upon  tobacco  would  thus  become  the  patrimony  of  the 
poor,  according  to  Herr  Wagner's  expression.  There  could 
not,  in  fact,  be  a  better  tax  than  that  which  hits  a  harmful 
substance ;  and  since  in  France  a  fund  and  a  palace  have  been 
founded  for  disabled  soldiers,  and,  in  England,  one  for  disabled 
sailors,  it  is  not  easy  to  see  why  Germany  should  not  do  as 
much  for  disabled  labourers ;  for  he  who  has  passed  his  life  in 
using  some  tool,  or  following  the  plough,  is  surely  as  worthy  of 
interest  as  he  who  has  devoted  his  days  to  the  carrying  of  a 
gun  or  the  loading  of  a  cannon.  I  think  the  Chamber  was 
wrong  in  rejecting  Bismarck's  proposal,  but  those  who  main- 
tained that  the  measure  was  essentially  socialistic  were  per-^ 
fectly  right.     In  a  lengthy  speech  delivered  on  the  3rd  January, 

'"  1882,  Bismarck  said  :  "  I  have  already  explained  the  system 
which  I  am  come  to  uphold,  according  to  the  instructions  of  His 
Majesty  the  Emperor.  We  wish  to  establish  a  state  of  things 
in  which  no  one  can  say,  '  I  exist  only  to  bear  social  burdens, 
and  nobody  takes  thought  of  my  fate.'  Our  dynasty  has  for  a 
long  time  been  endeavouring  to  reach  this  object.  Frederick 
the  Great  already  described  this  mission  in  saying,  '  I  am  king  of 
the  beggars,'  and  he  realized  it  in  administering  strict  justice. 
Frederick  William  III.  gave  freedom  to  the  peasants.  Our 
present  sovereign  is  animated  by  the  noble  ambition  to  put  a 
hand,  in  his  old  age,  to  the  work  of  assuring  to  the  least 
favoured  and  weakest  of  our  fellow-citizens,  if  not  the  .sanje 
rights  that  were  seventy  years  ago  .granted  to  the  peasantry,  at 
least  a  decided  amelioration  in  their  condition,  in  order  that 
these  poor  fellow-citizens  may,  in  the  future,  feel  assured  that 
they  can  count  upon  the  help  of  the  State."  The  whole  theory 
of  State  Socialism  and  of  "  a  Sociahst  monarch  "  is  summed 
up  in  this  passage. 

During  these  last  years  the  camp  of  the  Conservative 
Socialists  has  been  broken  up.  Some  have  gone  to  swell  the 
ranks  of  the  "  Agrarians ; "  others,  terrified  at  the  progress  of 
demagogic  Socialism,  have  become  retrograde  Conservatives  3 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  93 

and,  finally,  others  have  rallied  to  the  group  of  Evangelical 
Socialists,  with  whom  we  shall  soon  become  acquainted. 
Nevertheless,  the  most  learned  among  them,  Herr  Rudolf 
Meyer,  whose  curious  work,  the  Emancipations-kampf  des  vier- 
ten  Standcs,  we  have  already  cited,  summarizes  in  this  book  the 
programme  of  his  shade  of  thought,  which  he  had  in  part 
explained  at  the  Congress  of  the  Kathedersocialisten,  in  1872, 
at  Eisenach.  Herr  Meyer  declares,  first  of  all,  for  the  main- 
tenance of  universal  suffrage.  It  is,  he  says,  the  best  way  to  \ 
initiate  the  Fourth  Estate,  the  people,  to  the  realities  of  political 
life,  and  to  preserve  them  from  hopeless  chimeras.  The  example 
of  the  Third  Estate  in  France  is  highly  instructive  upon  this 
point.  Unable  to  take  any  part  in  the  direction  of  public 
affairs,  of  which  they  had  no  experience,  they  dreamed  of 
absolute  reforms,  conceived  by  the  imagination,  and  deduced 
to  their  logical  conclusion.  The  idea  of  Herr  Meyer  is  correct. 
It  is  borrowed  from  De  Tocqueville,  who  expands  it  admirably 
in  the  chapter  of  his  Ancien  Regime,  entitled  "  How,  about  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century,  men  of  letters  became  the 
principal  politicians  of  the  country,  and  the  effects  which 
resulted  therefrom."  It  cannot,  however,  be  said  that  in 
Germany  universal  suffrage  has  preserved  the  labouring  classes 
from  the  spirit  of  revolution.  It  is,  nevertheless,  true  that  it 
has  brought  them  down  from  the  golden  cloudland  of  Utopia, 
in  order  to  marshal  them  upon  the  battle-field  of  private 
interests.  This,  however,  is  neither  more  convenient  nor  more 
reassuring  to  their  employers. 

The  Conservative  Herr  Meyer  invokes  the  opinion  of 
Rodbertus  in  order  to  demonstrate  that  the  State  should  \\ 
regulate  the  distribution  of  wealth  according  to  justice.  Here-  [  f 
tofore  all  efforts  have  been  directed  to  the  increase  of  produc- 
tion. At  a  certain  point,  however,  the  question  of  distribution 
becomes  the  more  important.  When  the  development  of  trade 
results  in  creating,  on  the  one  side,  an  extremely  wealthy  class, 
and,  on  the  other,  a  numerous  class  of  proletarians,  it  may  be 
said  that  the  true  order  of  things  is  disturbed.  The  consequence 
and  characteristic  symptom  of  this  disorder  is  the  appearance 
of  demoralizing  luxury,  pushing  the  privileged  few  who  revel  in 


94  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

it  into  sensuality,  and  exciting,  among  those  deprived  of  it, 
envy,  hatred,  and  the  spirit  of  revolt. 

Herr  Meyer  here  joins  hands  with  Montesquieu,  who  recurs 
again  and  again  to  the  idea  that  excessive  inequality  should  be 
prevented  from  dividing  the  nations,  as  it  were,  into  two  hostile 
peoples ;  and  he  devotes  the  sixth  and  seventh  chapters  of  the 
fifth  book  of  the  Esprit  des  Lois  to  the  elucidation  of  this 
point.  "  It  is  not  enough,"  he  says,  "  in  a  good  democracy 
that  the  portions  of  land  should  be  equal ;  they  must  also  be 
small,  as  among  the  Romans."  One  might  add,  as  in  France 
to-day.  A  rural  democracy,  if  only  it  were  an  enlightened  one, 
would  give  to  Europe  a  solid  base  upon  which  to  found  free 
institutions,  and  would  save  it  from  social  upheavals.  Montes- 
quieu borrowed  his  maxims  from  antiquity,  for  Aristotle  con- 
tinually recurs  to  it.  "  Inequality,"  he  says  {Pol..,  b,  v.  ch.  i.), 
"is  the  cause  of  all  revolutions,  for  no  compensation  can  make 
up  for  inequality."  ' "  Men,  equal  in " one Irespect,' wis^gTo  Fe 
equal  in  everything.  Equal  in  liberty,  they  demanded  absolute 
equality.  Not  obtaining  it,  they  imagine  themselves  cheated 
of  their  rights,  and  they  rise  in  rebellion."  The  only  means  of 
preventing  revolutions,  according  to  Aristotle,  is  to  maintain  a 
certain  amount  of  equality.  "  Cause  even  the  poor  to  have  a 
small  inheritance."  That  is  precisely  what  was  done,  in  great 
measure,  by  the  laws  of  the  French  Revolution.  "  A  State," 
once  more  says  the  Stagyrite,  "  according  to  the  wish  of  nature, 
should  be  composed  of  elements  which  approach  as  near  as 
possible  to  equality."  He  then  shows  that  in  a  State  where 
there  are  but  two  classes,  the  rich  and  the  poor,  conflicts  are 
inevitable.  "The  conqueror,"  he  adds,  "looks  upon  the 
government  as  the  price  of  victory,  and  uses  it  to  oppress  and 
despoil  the  vanquished."  Therefore,  when  Rudolf  Meyer  and 
Rodbertus  demand  that  laws  should  favour  equality  and  main- 
tain it,  they  only  reproduce  the  thesis  of  Montesquieu  and 
Aristotle.  But  how  is  this  great  object  to  be  gained  without 
sacrificing  all  liberty?  Here  fies  the  grand  problem.  For 
want  of  solving  it,  the  ancient  democracies  perished  in  anarchy. 

Rodbertus  admits  that  slavery  was  legitimate  in  ancient 
times.     In  order  that  the  highest  culture  should  be  developed, 


CONSERVATIVE  SOCIALISTS.  95 

it  was  necessary,  he  thinks,  that  the  forced  labour  of  the  greater 
number  should  afford  leisure  to  the  free  men.  At  that  period 
the  quantity  of  produce  was  always  in  proportion  to  the  means 
of  production,  as  this  consisted  solely  of  the  hands  of  the 
slaves.  If  the  number  of  these  was  increased,  consumption 
increased  in  proportion,  and  thus  the  surplus  which  maintained 
leisure  remained  at  a  minimum.  To-day  work  is  done  by  iron 
workmen,  consuming  coal  and  not  wheat ;  their  power  is 
unlimited,  and  they  will  never  call  upon  the  rights  of  man  to 
demand  their  enfranchisement. 

When  the  water-wheel,  coming  from  the  East,  was  introduced 
for  the  first  time  into  the  Western  world,  towards  the  end  of 
the  Roman  Republic,  a  Greek  poet,  named  Antiparos,  com- 
posed some  verses  which  the  Anthology  has  preserved  for  us, 
and  which  recount,  in  a  most  charming  manner,  the  cause  of 
the  economic  progress  accomplished  in  the  last  two  thousand 
years  :  "  Slaves  who  turn  the  millstone,  spare  your  hands  and 
sleep  in  peace.  In  vain  the  shrill  voice  of  the  cock  shall 
announce  the  daylight ;  sleep  on.  By  order  of  Demeter,  the 
labour  of  young  girls  is  performed  by  the  Naiads,  and  now  they 
leap,  shining  and  light,  upon  the  wheel  as  it  revolves.  They 
drag  around  the  axle  with  its  spokes,  and  put  in  motion  the 
great  stone  which  turns  round  and  round.  Let  us  live  the 
happy  life  of  our  fathers,  and  enjoy,  without  labour,  the  bless- 
ings the  goddess  showers  upon  us."  Thus  machinery  creates 
leisure;  but  who  shall  enjoy  it?  That  is  the  point.  Three 
cases  might  occur.  Either  this  leisure  will  liberate  from  all 
work  a  larger  and  larger  number  of  persons,  the  working  day 
of  those  who  continue  to  labour  remaining  the  same ;  or  no 
one  will  have  increased  leisure,  as  the  idle  hours  will  be  em- 
ployed in  making  objects  of  luxury ;  or,  once  more,  as  Antiparos 
fancied,  machinery  will  benefit  the  labourers  by  lessening  their 
task,  and  an  increase  of  leisure  will  accrue  to  all,  even  to  the 
workers.  In  the  interest,  not  of  the  increase  of  production, 
"  ufc  of  the  progress  of  civilization,  it  was  to  be  hoped  that  this 
latter  hypothesis  would  be  realized.  But  in  reality  it  is  usually 
either  the  first  or  second  case  which  happens. 

The    Conservative,   like   the   Cathohc    Socialists,  develop 


9^  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

/a.  2.  M  general  ideas  of  a  very  elevated  character,  and  sometimes  most 
just ;  but,  upon  the  ground  of  concrete  reforms,  the  two  groups 
appear  equally  confused  and  impracticable.  Herr  Meyer  asks 
that  heavy  taxes  should  be  imposed  upon  all  profits  from  trade 
and  banking.  He  calls  for  the  re-establishment  of  the  laws 
against  usury ;  he  would  even  limit  the  interest  payable  upon 
all  capital  not  worked  by  its  owner.  He  appears  not  to  see 
that  in  thus  limiting  the  free  scope  of  industry,  he  would  hurt 
the  interests  of  the  landed  proprietors  which  he  desires  to 
protect.  He  also  wishes  that  the  functions  of  the  State  should 
be  vastly  extended. 

The  State,  according  to  him,  should  first  of  all  oblige  all 
manufacturers  to  build  houses  for  their  men.  It  should  itself 
house  all  its  employes.  It  should  pay  its  own  men  well,  in 
order  that  this  rate  of  wages  should  be  forced,  so  to  speak, 
upon  individuals,  and  it  should  regulate  the  length  of  the 
working  day  in  proportion  to  the  difficulty  and  fatigue  of  the 
work.  The  acquisition  of  property  by  those  who  no^v  possess 
none  should  in  every  way  be  facilitated.  As  M.  Thiers  said, 
upon  every  acre  owned  by  a  peasant  will  be  found  a  gun  ready 
to  defend  property.  Each  trade  should  be  obliged  to  have  a 
superannuation  and  a  relief  fund,  and  the  employer  should  be 
bound  to  contribute  a  share  equal  to  the  united  contributions 
of  all  his  workmen.  There  should,  finally,  be  a  "  council  of 
experts,"  to  reconcile  differences  arising  between  masters  and 
men,  and  a  court  of  arbitration  to  decide  disputes  not  settled 
by  means  of  compromise.  Some  of  these  measures  are  good ; 
but  others  are  impossible  of  execution,  such  as  the  restriction 
of  the  interest  of  capital  employed  in  banking  and  trade. 
Taken  as  a  whole,  the  programme  appears  mean,  especially 
side  by  side  with  the  recital  of  motives  which  precede  it. 
This  is  not  to  be  wondered  at ;  for  it  is  far  easier  to  point  to 
the  ideal  to  be  attained,  than  to  indicate  the  means  of  reach- 
ing it. 


(    97     ) 


CHAPTER  VII. 

EVANGELICAL    SOCIALISTS. 

THE  party  of  Monarchical  Christian  Socialists  is  of  recent  ii.  i.  oz 
date.  ^It'was  formed  by"  the  ^energetic  action  of  the 
leader  of  tlie  anti-Semitic  movement,  Herr  Stocker,  one  of  the 
coui:t  preachers,  and  a  clergyman  of  the  conservative  and 
orthodox  type.  It  seems  clearly  to  have  been  thie  example  of 
the  Catholic  clergy  that  led  the  Protestant  ministers  in  this 
direction.*  They,  too,  wished,  on  their  side,  to  acquire..- 
influence  over  the  labouring  classes,  by  concerning  themselves  ■ ' 
with  their  grievances  and  making  themselves  the  mouthpiece 
of  some  of  their  ideas.  The  main  difference  was  that,  while 
the  Catholic  clergy  acted  with  a  view  to  opposition  and  to 
secure  the  election  of  deputies  hostile  to  the  Kultur-Kampf, 
the  ministers  of  the  State  Church  wished  to  strengthen  the 
monarchical  sentiment  in  the  people  and  to  extend  the  powers 
of  royalty.  Therefore  they  vigorously  opposed  the  Fortschritt- 
Fartei,  the  party  of  progress,  that  is  to  say,  the  Liberals,  whOj 
taking  England  as  their  model,  wished  to  restrict  the  action  of 
the  State,  and  to  entrust  the  management  of  affairs  to  the  will 

*  A  Protestant  newspaper,  Die  Neue  Evangelische  Kirchenzeitung,  thus 
expresses  itself  on  this  point  (October,  1878):  "The  Romish  Church,  by 
opposing  the  anti-Socialist  law,  will  appear  as  the  defender  of  the  rights  of 
the  people.  The  Evangelical  Church,  which  is  hardly  rejoresented^in 
Parliament,  is  lootv'^riiponlislhe'any'ordSpoUsi^^  it  hot  fhe'cluty  of 

every'Ti'otestant  to  endeavour  toefface  this  impression  by  devoting  himself 
to  the  interests  of  the  people?  If  Protestantism  believes  that  it  has  no 
interest  in  the  social  question — the  greatest  question  of  our  day  and  of  the 
future — if  it  does  not  take  it  up  with  heart  and  soul,  it  will  lose  all  influence 
over  the  lower  classes,  who  will  fall  away  towards  Catholicism,  or  even 
towards  infidel  hberalism." 

H 


98  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  Parliament.  The  Evangelical  Socialist  party  resembled  the 
French  Legitimists,  in  that  they  held  up  to  admiration,  as  the 
type  of  government,  the  reign  of  Frederick  II.,  and  still  more 
that  of  his  father,  the  brutal  churl  whom  Carl^le  admired  so 
excessively,  who  kept  his  kingdom  and  his  family  under  the 
rod,  but  who  was  very  pious  after  his  fashion,  and  an  excellent 
Economist. 

Stocker  founded  two  associations  :  first  of  all,  the  "  Central 
Union  for  Social  Reform,"  *  and  then  the  "  Christian  Social 
"Working  Ivlen's  Party.  "|  Although  the  same  ideas  and  nearly 
the  same  persons  had  directed  the  formation  of  the  two  groups, 
their  aims  were  very  different.  The  Union  for  Social  Reform 
was  to  be  composed  of  well-to-do  and  educated  men,  such  as 
ministers  of  the  Church,  professors,  manufacturers,  and  land- 
owners, who  would  join  in  seeking  for  means  of  conciliating 
the  anarchic  classes  through  reforms  inspired  by  the  spirit  of 
Christianity.  Hitherto  the  partisans  of  corporations,  the 
"  Agrarians,"  all  who  demand  protection  for  national  labour, 
not  only  were  unable  to  agree  so  as  to  combine  their  efforts, 
but  even  opposed  and  neutralized  each  other's  action.  It  was 
necessary,  then,  to  show  how  these  tendencies  harmonize  with 
one  another,  and  to  point  out  the  superior  principle  that 
justifies  them  and  binds  them  together. 

What  is  called  cultivated  society  is  so  far  from  compre- 
hending the  true  mission  of  Christianity  that,  when  Minister 
Stocker  first  took  up  the  Social  question,  all  the  Hberal  and 
progressist  papers  protested  against  this  Miicker-socialistnuSj 
this  "  sham  socialism."  It  was  therefore  imperative  to  combat 
the  materialism  of  the  upper  classes  and  the  atheism  of  the 
people,  and  to  renew  the  religious  conception  of  the  world  and 
society.  It  was  necessary,  in  the  first  place,  for  the  clergy  to 
extend  a  helping  hand  to  the  labourers,  in  order  to  rally  them 
to  Christianity,  and  this  Avas  to  be  the  work  of  the  Christian 
Social  Working  Men's  Party ;  while,  in  the  second  place,  it  was 
incumbent  on  the  friends  of  the  people,  among  the  upper 
ranks,  to  combine  in  order  to  forestall  revolution  by  reforms. 

*  Central  Verein  fiir  Social-reform, 
t  Christlich-sociale  Arbeiterpartei. 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  99 

At  the  same  time  a  newspaper  was  established,  Der  Staats- 
Socialist,  which  had  for  its  epitaph  these  words  :  "  The  social 
question  exists,  and  it  can  only  be  solved  by  a  strong 
monarchical  State  resting  on  the  moral  and  religious  factors  of 
the  national  hfe ; "  meaning,  apparently,  "  with  the  aid  of  the 
evangelical  clergy." 

The  existence  of  danger  to  society  in  Germany  certainly 
cannot  be  denied.  It  seems  to  menace  the  public  order ;  for 
the  two  atteinpts  at  regicide  by  Hoedel  and  Nobiling  are 
generally  laid  at  the  door  of  Socialism.  Three  means  of 
dealing  with  it  present  themselves ;  firstly,  to  ignore  the 
danger  altogether  and  lull  one's  self  in  an  imperturbable 
optimism,  while  repeating,  "  laissez  faire,  laissez  passer,  the 
world  will  get  along  all  right  by  itself" — this  is  the  advice  of 
the  Economists  ;  secondly,  to  repress  to  the  utmost,  to  prohibit 
newspapers,  dissolve  associations,  and  thus  try  to  extirpate  the 
evil  by  force — this  is  what  the  government  desires  :  or,  lastly, 
to  disarm  the  popular  wrath  by  endeavouring  to  better  the 
condition  of  the  workers.  This  is  the  system  practically  tried 
at  Mulhouse  by  Herr  Dolfus  and  his  friends.  He  has  lately 
explained  it  to  the  Imperial  Parliament,  and  to  it  he  attributes 
the  absence  of  revolutionary  Socialism  in  Alsace.  It  is  the 
method  recommended  by  the  Staats-Socialist. 

The  programme  of  the  party  which  it  was  intended  to 
establish  was  as  follows  : — 

General  principles  :  "The  Christian  Social  Working  Men's 
Party  is  founded  on  the  basis  oF  the  Chrts'tian  faith  and  loyalty 
to  King  and  Fatherland.  It  rejects  the  social  democracy  as 
impracticable,  unchristian,  and  unpatriotic.  It  is  intended  to 
constitute  a  peaceful  organization  of  labourers,  in  order  to 
prepare  practical  reforms  in  harmony  with  the  other  elements 
of  the  national  life.  Its  aim  is  to  diminish  the  distance  which 
separates  rich  from  poor,  and  to  establish  economic  security." 
The  programme  calls  upon  the  State  to  create  separate  trade 
corporations  according  to  the  particular  trades,  but  com- 
pulsorily  constituted  throughout  the  empire,  and  supported 
by  stringent  regulations  as  to  the  admission  of  apprentices. 
Committees   of  arbitration    shall   be    constituted,    and    their 


lOO  THE  SOCIALISM  OF   TO-DAY. 

decisions  shall  have  legal  validity. — Compulsory  creation  of 
provident  funds  for  widows,  orphans,  and  disabled  workmen. — 
The  trade  corporations  shall  defend  the  interests  of  the  work- 
men in  their  relations  with  their  employers. — Prohibition  of 
all  labour  on  Sundays. — Prevention  of  the  employment  of 
children  and  married  women  in  factories. — The  normal  daj^_of 
labour  to  be  fixed  according  to  the  nature  of  the  work.  These 
rules  ought  to  be  made  the  object  of  international  conventions. 
Utitil  this  has  been  done  it  is  advisable  to  protect  labour 
against  the  competition  of  countries  where  similar  measures 
do  not  exist.  Stringent  rules  against  insanitary  condition  of 
factories.- — State  and  Communal  property  should  be  worked  in 
the  interests  of  the  labourers,  and  should  be  extended  so  far 
as  can  be  done  with  economy. — A  progressive  income-tax,  to 
replace  the  indirect  taxes  which  fall  mainly  upon  the  labouring 
classes. — Heavy  taxes  on  luxuries. — A  progressive  succession 
duty,  according  to  the  extent  of  the  inheritance  and  the 
distance  of  relationship. 

The  programme  calls  upon  the  clergy  to  take  an  active  and 
earnest  part  in  all  efforts  made  for  improving  the  lot  of  the 
labourer  in  its  material,  intellectual,  moral,  and  religious 
aspects.  It  adjures  the  well-to-do  classes  to  hold  out  a  helping 
hand  to  the  proletarians,  to  support  all  laws  which  are  favour- 
able to  them,  and  to  aid  in  augmenting  their  welfare  by  giving 
them  good  wages  and  reducing  as  far  as  possible  the  hours  of 
labour.  Every  one  should  aid  in  the  creation  of  the  new  trade 
corporations,  which  are  destined  to  supply  the  place  of  what- 
ever good  there  was  in  the  ancient  guilds,  and  should  endeavour 
to  induce  the  labourers  to  observe  all  honourable  conduct,  to 
shun  coarse  pleasures,  and  to  put  Cliristian  sentiments  into 
practice  in  their  family  life. 

It  cannot  be  denied  that  the  articles  of  this  programme  are 
inspired  by  the  love  of  humanity.  But  would  it  be  possible 
to  apply  them  to  the  complications  of  modern  industry  without 
creating  disorganization  ?  The  principal  proposal  is  the 
re-establishment,  under  another  name,  of  the  old  trade-guilds. 
But  the  diiSculty  already  pointed  out  immediately  arises  :  are 
these  to  be  close  corporations,  and  are  they  to  enjoy  a  mono- 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  lOI 

poly  ?  For  instance,  are  the  drapers  to  have  the  sole  right  of 
manufacturing  cloth?  If  you  grant  them  this  privilege,  the 
master  will  no  longer  be  able  to  recruit  his  staff  from  whatever 
source  he  chooses.  What  then  becomes  of  freedom  of  trade  ? 
How  are  these  monopolies  to  be  reconciled  with  the  constant 
progress  of  the  methods  of  manufacture  and  the  varying 
number  of  workpeople  required  ?  If,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
law  maintains  liberty,  these  trade  corporations  become  simply 
the  English  trades  unions,  which  are  certainly  powerful 
machines  of  war  for  organizing  strikes  and  coalitions,  but 
which  do  not  contain  the  elements  of  a  new  organization  of 
labour.  At  any  rate,  this  programme  contains  one  very  just 
observation,  namely,  that  all  these  measures  of  protection  in 
favour  of  the  working  classes  ought  to  be  enacted  as  part  of 
an  international  agreement.  Thus,  England,  France,  and  the 
majority  of  European  States  prohibit  the  labour  of  children  in 
factories,  while  certain  countries,  under  pretext  of  respecting 
liberty,  still  refuse  to  do  so.  Is  it  not  too  bad  that  the  English 
and  French  manufacturers  should  be  the  victims  of  the  equity 
of  their  country's  laws,  and  that  others  should  take  advantage 
of  the  inhumanity  of  the  legislation  under  which  they  live,  to 
employ  young  children,  and  thus  doom  them  to  untimely 
infirmities,  in  order  to  be  able  to  sell  cheaper  than  elsewhere  ? 

The  States  of  Europe,  owing  to  the  facility  of  communica- 
tion, make,  in  reality,  only  one  nation.  They  ought,  then,  by 
means  of  Interriafional  conventions,  to  secure  uniformity  of 
laws ;  otherwise  the  independent  and  non-concerted  action  of 
one  country  will  cause  disturbance  in  all  the  others.  As  the 
mutual  relations  of  economic  interests  become  continually 
more  intimate,  international  law  should  continually  embrace 
more  objects. 

The  Monarchical  Christian  Socialists  have  no  expectations 
of  seeing  their  programme  adopted  by  existing,  parliaments 
where  the  liberal  middle  classes  predominate.  .  Accordingly, 
they  have  turned  towards  the  king,  and  what  they  dream  of  is 
a  Socialist  Monarchy.  In  the  same  way,  in  France,  Napoleon 
III.,  imbued  with  the  Sociahstic  ideas  that  he  had  developed 
in  his  early  writings,  wished  to  play  the  part  of  Emperor  of  the 


102  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

peasants  and  working  men.  In  ancient  Greece,  the  "  tyrants," 
;■  that  is  to  say,  the  dictators,  usually  got  possession  of  power 
i|  by  placing  themselves  at  the  head  of  the  poor  against  the  rich. 
i|  It  was  thus  that  Coesar,  at  Rome,  hoped  to  establish  absolute 
power.  In  the  Middle  Ages,  in  France,  the  king  was  looked 
upon  as  the  protector  of  the  people  and  the  communes  against 
the  feudal  lords.  To-day  the  Monarchical  Socialists  invite  the 
sovereign  to  fulfil  a  similar  mission,  but  this  time  against  the 
financial  and  industrial  middle  classes  who  exercise  the  privileges 
of  the  landed  aristocracy.  They  invoke  the  authority  of  Lorenz 
von  Stein,  the  eminent  professor  at  Vienna  :  "  Every  monarchy," 
he  said,  "  will  be  no  more  than  an  empty  shadow,  and  will 
give  place  to  a  republic,  or  be  transformed  into  a  military 
despotism,  unless,  imbued  with  the  moral  dignity  of  its  role, 
it  takes  the  initiation  in  the  matter  of  social  reforms."  What 
good  can  a  constitutional  sovereign  do,  when  he  is  at  the 
mercy  of  the  parties  who  in  turn  dispose  of  the  majority? 
And  what  are  these  parties  ?  Coalitions  of  interests,  groups  of 
cliques,  representatives  and  agents  of  selfish  class  interests, 
who  make  use  of  power  only  to  work  to  their  own  advantage 
the  making  of  the  laws  and  the  framing  of  the  budget.  The 
king  alone  can  rise  superior  to  this  conflict  of  ambitions  and 
greedy  desires,  so  as  to  represent  the  permanent  interests  of 
the  nation ;  he  alone  can  take  in  hand  the  cause  of  the 
oppressed,  because  he  alone  draws  no  profit  from  their  degra- 
dation. Such  is  the  language  of  the  Christian  Socialists  in 
Germany. 

This  ideal  of  a  good  despot,  assuring  to  each  his  share  of 
terrestrial  happiness,  has  a  certain  Messianic  charm  about  it," 
which  may  allure,  especially  when  the  parliamentary  machine 
becomes  effete  or  breaks  up.  But  who  will  guarantee  that  the 
'1  despot  shall  not  be  a  fool,  an  idiot,  or  a  vicious  wretch? 
Csesarism  was  too  unsuccessful  to  induce  men  to  return  to  it, 
at  least  voluntarily.  However,  the  Christian  Socialists  certainly 
express  very  well  the  idea  that  the  Emperor  William  himself 
has  conceived  of  his  mission.  He  has  a  horror  of  government 
by  majorities ;  he  readily  listens  to  the  grievances  of  the 
labourers ;  and,  as  we  have  seen,  he  spends  money  out  of  his 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  IO3 

private  purse  in  making  Socialistic  experiments.  It  is  also  the 
long-cherished  dream  of  Prince  Bismarck,  who,  it  is  said,  is 
preparing  to  realize  it  soon  (December,  18S2). 

It  must,  moreover,  be  added  that  Prussia  is  a  soil  admirably 
prepared  for  the  growth  of  State  Socialism.  No  modern  nation 
reproduces  more  completely  the  type  of  the  Greek  cities,  in 
which  the  welfare  of  the  individual  is  subordinate  to  that  of  the 
civic  State.  Under  the  energetic  rule  of  Frederick  II.,  the 
PVussian  State  has  become  a  vast  political  machine  which  takes  ; 
possession  of  its  subjects  from  childhood,  at  first  in  the  schools,  ' 
and  then  in  the  army,  in  order  to  mould  them  according  to  its 
wants.  The  Prussian  civil  code  already  sanctions  some  of  the 
articles  of  the  programme  of  the  Christian  Socialists.  The 
following  clauses  are  found  in  the  Preussische  Allgemeine 
Landrecht  (Tit.  xix.,  2nd  part)  : — ■ 

"§  I.  It  is  the  duty  of  the  State  to  see  to  the  food  and  main- 
tenance of  those  citizens  who  cannot  provide  it  for  themselves, 
nor  obtain  it  from  those  who  are  legally  bound  to  provide  it. 
§  2.  To  those  who  cannot  find  employment,  work  shall  be 
assigned  suitable  to  their  strength  and  ability.  §  3.  Those 
who  from  indolence  or  taste  for  idleness,  or  from  any  other 
vicious  disposition,  neglect  to  provide  themselves  with  the 
means  of  subsistence,  shall  be  obliged  to  execute  useful  works 
under  surveyance.  §  6.  The  State  has  the  right  and  is 
obliged  to  create  institutions  for  restraining  at  once  both  pau- 
perism and  prodigality.  §  7.  Everything  that  can  have  the 
effect  of  inducing  idleness,  especially  in  the  lower  classes,  or 
that  is  likely  to  divert  people  from  labour,  is  absolutely  for- 
bidden. §  10.  Communal  authorities  are  bound  to  maintain 
their  poor.  §11.  It  is  their  duty  to  inquire  into  the  causes 
of  destitution,  and  to  notify  them  to  the  higher  authorities,  in 
order  that  a  remedy  may  be  appHed."  Might  not  all  this  be 
mistaken  for  the  text  of  the  law  of  a  "  Christian  Salentum  "  ? 
The  precept  of  St.  Paul,  "  If  any  will  not  work,  neither  shall 
he  eat,"  qui  non  laborat  7iec  manducet,  is  here  transformed  into 
an  article  of  the  code.  Idleness  is  a  misdemeanour.  The 
right  to  relief,  as  in  the  law  of  Elizabeth,  and  the  right  of 
labour,  as  in  1848,  are  equally  recognized,  and  the   tutelary 


I04  THE  SOCIALISM  OF   TO-DAY. 

role  of  the  State  is  clearly  confessed.     The  Socialistic  bearing 
of  the  Prussian  code  cannot  be  mistaken. 

The  main  object  to  attain,  according  to  the  Social 
Christians,  who  agree  in  this  respect  with  the  "  Social  Conser- 
vatives," is  the  organization  of  trade  corporations.  It  is  in 
this  way  alone  that  the  present  wage-system  can  be  modified. 
Privy  Councillor  F.  Reuleaux,  who  at  the  time  of  the  Exhibi- 
tion of  Philadelphia  pointed  out  in  so  inexorable  but  so  useful 
a  way  the  imperfections  of  German  industry,  also  believes  that 
the  organization  of  corporations  is  indispensably  required  for 
the  training  of  skilled  apprentices.  He  is  anxious  that  the 
corporations  should  form  themselves  freely  and  without  mo- 
nopoly, but  under  State  patronage.  The  Staats-Socialist 
demands,  on  the  other  hand,  that  the  organization  should  be 
compulsorily  imposed  on  all  trades  ;  in  this  way  alone,  it  thinks, 
can  the  labourer  be  enabled  to  defend  his  interests  eft'ectively. 
The  trade  corporations  would  have  their  representatives  in 
parliament,  and  the  intervention  in  politics  of  the  workmen 
thus  organized  would  be  more  useful  than  it  is  at  present,  when 
it  takes  place  under  a  party  badge.  Sismondi  also  spoke 
highly  of  this  system  of  representation  which  existed  in  many 
of  the  mediaeval  towns.  In  the  same  way,  in  England  still, 
the  universities  have  their  special  members.  When  the  com- 
position of  the  Senate  was  being  discussed  in  France,  it  was 
proposed  to  introduce  into  it  representatives  of  the  great  public 
bodies — those,  for  instance,  of  trade  and  commerce.  Although 
this  idea  is  foreign  to  our  present  forms  of  government,  it 
should  not  be  lightly  rejected.  If  it  is  true  that  the  govern- 
ment ought  to  be  the  expression,  not  of  the  arbitrary  will  of  the 
majority,  but  of  the  lights,  the  wisdom,  and  the  true  interests  of 
the  nation,  the  representation  of  great  bodies  and  great  indus- 
tries, in  at  least  one  of  the  Chambers,  would  offer  inestimable 
advantages. 

The  Staats-Socialist  proposes,  as  a  model,  the  American 
association  of  engine-drivers.  This  association  counts  192 
branches  and  14,000  members.  It  is  based  on  Christian 
sentiment.  Its  motto  is,  "I)o  to  others  as  ye  would  that  they 
should  do  to  you :  such  is  the  fulfilment  of  the  law."      Its 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  IO5 

meetings  commence  with  prayer,  and  the  Bible  Ues  on  the 
table  of  the  council.  Those  addicted  to  drink  are  inexorably 
excluded.  The  association  possesses  an  insurance  fund  which 
pays  3000  dollars  to  the  widow  or  orphans  of  a  deceased 
member,  and  in  this  way  more  than  a  miUion  dollars  have  been 
distributed.  It  has  not  taken  part  in  any  strike,  but  the  number 
and  union  of  its  members  constitute  a  force  with  which,  the 
railway  companies  have  to  reckon.  The  corporate  spirit,  and 
the  sense  of  honour  resulting  therefrom,  are  guarantees  of  good 
behaviour  and  good  work.  The  engine-drivers,  the  public,  and 
the  companies  themselves  have  only  to  be  congratulated  on 
these  happy  results,  and  it  would  be  a  good  thing  if  similar 
results  could  be  obtained  in  all  trades.  This,  however,  is  a 
free  association,  founded  on  the  initiation  of  its  members.  If 
the  State  were  to  try  to  found  similar  associations  by  authority 
it  would  probably  fail,  and  by  giving  them  a  monopoly  it 
would  quickly  disorganize  the  present  working  of  industries. 

Some  attempts  at  establishing  trade  corporations  have 
actually  been  made  in  Germany.  Thus,  at  Osnabriick,  the 
artisans  formed  a  corporation  under  the  inspiration  and  patron- 
age of  the  burgomaster,  Herr  Miquel,  and  the  Staats-Socialist  of 
the  5th  October,  1878,  published  their  statutes.  According  to 
the  report  of  Councillor  F.  Reuleaux,  the  watchmakers  of  all 
Germany  formed  an  association  represented  by  a  central  com- 
mittee of  delegates,  and  formulated  regulations  for  the  admission 
of  apprentices.  At  the  present  time  they  are  occupied  in 
introducing  the  methods  of  manufacture  employed  in  the 
United  States.  The  engravers,  the  potters,  the  tinsmiths,  the 
engineers,  all  followed  this  example.  Their  principal  aim  is  to 
train  up  good  workmen  and  to  arouse  the  corporate  spirit. 
Councillor  Reuleaux  praises  these  efforts,  because  he  sees  in 
them  a  means  of  raising  German  workmen  to  a  level  with  those 
of  England  or  America.  Recently,  however,  the  greater 
number  of  these  associations  were  dissolved  by  virtue  of 
the  new  Anti-Socialist  law. 

The  " Central  Union  for  Social  Reform"  obtained  the  ad- 
hesion and  even  the  co-operation  of  several  well-known  econo- 
mists, such  as  Professor  Adolf  Wagner,  of  Berlin  University ; 


106  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Dr.  Schsefifle,  former  Minister  of  Finance  in  Austria,  and  author 
of  Socialismtis  tend  Capitalismus  ;  Hcrr  Adolf  Samter,  banker  at 
Konigsberg ;  and  Professor  von  Scheel.*  But  in  order  to 
f  influence  the  masses,  as  the  Cathohc  Socialists  have  done,  the 
'  assistance  of  the  clergy  was  needed  ;  and  it  was  to  gain  this 
i  assistance  that  the  founders  of  the  movement,  Herren  StocTcer 
I  and  Todt,  directed  all  their  efforts.  According  to  them,  the 
duty  of  ecclesiastics,  and  even  of  the  Protestant  Church  as  a 
body,  was  to  take  part  in  discussions  on  the  social  question. 
This  question,  they  said,  embraces  the  whole  of  humanity.  The 
Social  Democracy  rests  on  materialism  and  propagates  atheism, 
while  Liberalism  and  so-called  Positive  Science,  by  endeavour- 
ing to  eradicate  the  religious  sentiment,  supply  it  with  weapons. 
Who  is  to  defend  this  precious  treasure,  if  not  the  pastor  ? 
Christ  came  to  bring  the  "glad  tidings"  to  the  poor;  His 
disciples  and  apostles  ought  to  do  likewise.  They  ought  to 
search  out  the  causes  of  the  ills  of  the  lower  classes,  in  order  to 
find  the  remedy.  Political  Economy  can  alone  throw  light 
upon  these  difficult  questions,  and  it  must  accordingly  be 
sedulously  studied.  The  clergy  ought  unceasingly  to  remind 
the  State  and  the  upper  classes  of  the  duty  imposed  upon  them 
by  the  law  of  the  Gospel  in  respect  of  their  destitute  brethren. 
The  passion  for  accumulating  riches  is  becoming  more  and 
more  the  characteristic  of  our  age.  This  "  Mammonism"  is 
the  enemy  of  Christianity,  and  must  be  unwearyingly  com- 
bated. 

The  people  are  turning  away  from  the  Church,  because  it 
offers  them  only  barren  abstract  formulas.  Let  her  descend  to 
the  sphere  of  reality,  let  her  speak  to  the  people  of  what 
occupies  their  thoughts,  and  she  will  regain  her  influence.  Why 
should  the  workman  hearken  to  the  atheist  demagogue  who 
brings  to  him  a  cheerless  doctrine,  hostile  to  righteousness, 
rather  than  to  the  priest  who  offers  him  the  Gospel  ?  But  in 
order  to  counteract  the  demagogic  agitators,  the  clergy  must 
have  some  knowledge  of  the  questions  they  discuss  and  the 
arguments  they  invoke.      They  ought,  therefore,  to  follow  the 

*  See  Herr  von  Scheel's  excellent  book,  Unsere  sociale  politische 
Parteien  ("Our  Social  Political  Parties"). 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  10/ 

course  of  Social  Science  at  the  universities.  Theology  and 
Political  Economy  are  mutually  connected  by  the  closest  ties.* 
It  is  only  by  means  of  Social  Economy  that  the  full  scope  of 
Christianity  and  its  power  of  healing  the  ills  of  modern  society 
can  be  properly  appreciated. 

The  higher  dignitaries  of  the  Evangelical  Church  held  aloof  \ 
from  the  movement,  or  mdeed  were  hostile  to  it ;    but  the^ :! 
common  clergy  were  stirred  by  it.     More  than  seven  hundred^ 
ministers  sent  in  their  adhesion  to  the  "  Central  Union  for 
Social  Reform."     Dr.  Kogel,  one  of  the  Court  preachers,  Dr.  "* 
Blichsel,  the  superintendent-general,  and   Dr.  Bauer  strongly 
urged  the  Protestant  clergy  to   take  up  the  Social  question. 
Dr.  Stocker  displayed  wonderful  courage.     He  attended  public 
meetings  at  Berlin,   where  he  confronted  the  most  fanatical 
elements  of  the  Socialist  Demagogy,  and  sometimes,  by  sheer 
force  of  eloquence,  he  won  cheers  from  the  hostile  crowd.     He 
was  attacked  with  extraordinary  violence  by  Herr  Most,  one 
of  the  leaders  of  Berlinese  Socialism,  and  a  deputy  to  the 
Imperial  Parliament.     It  is  not  easy  to  form  any  idea  of  the 
tone  of  these  philippics,  which  were  one  long  series  of  invec- 
tives against  Christianity  and  its  ministers,  ending  with  the 
glorification   of  atheism.      "  The  Social    Democracy  will  not 
recede,"  cried  Herr  Most  in  one  of  his  speeches ;    "  it  will 
pursue  its  course    and    accomplish   its  designs,   even  though 
"  all  priestdom  "  {das  gesamvite  PfaffentJmni)  should  rise  against 
it,  like  a'  cloud  of  locusts,  thick  enough  to  darken  the  sun.  ' 
The  Social  Democracy  knows  that  the  days  of  Christianity  are  ' 
numbered,  and  that  the  time  is  not  far  distant  when  we  shall  i 
say  to  the  priests,  '  Settle  your  account  with  Heaven,  for  your  i 
hour  is  come.' "     Inasmuch  as  Herr  Stocker  and  his  friends  j 
were   making   an   appeal   to   religious   sentiments,    and   were  ^ 
endeavouring  to  show  that  it  was  in  the  principles  and  senti- 
ments of  Christianity  that  the  solution  of  the  social  troubles 
would  be  found.  Deputy  Most  organized  an  agitation  for  the 

*  See  Herr  Todt's  study,  entitled  Der  Irnere  Zusammenhang  und  die 
noth^vendige  Verbmditng  zwischen  detn  Sttidhan  der  Thcologie  und  dcm 
Shidhtm  der  Socialwissenschaftcn  ("The  Intimate  Relation  and  Necessary 
Connection  between  the  Stud)-  of  Theology  and  that  of  the  Social  Sciences  "). 


I08  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

purpose  of  inducing  working  men  formally  to  renounce  the 
Church  {Massenaiistrltt  mis  dei'  Kirche).     "  It  is  long,"  he  said, 
"  since  you  have  placed  foot  inside  a  temple,  and  since  you 
have  had  anything  to  do  with  these  gentlemen  of  the  black 
frock.     But  that  is  not  enough.    They  still  number  you  amongst 
their  flocks,  and  on  this  ground  they  claim  to  shear  you.     An 
end  must  be  put  to  this.     Declare  openly  that  you  leave  the 
Church.     Array  yourselves  under  the  banner  of  Science,  which 
absolutely  rejects   all    superstitions."     At   the  close    of  these 
meetings,  manifestoes  declaring  that  they  abandoned  the  Estab- 
lished Church  were  presented  for  the  signature  of  those  present. 
As  a  type  of  these  reunions,  we  may  take  the  meeting  of 
women,  which  was  held  on  the  6th  February,   1878,   in  the 
salon  of  Madame  Renz.     Men  were  relentlessly  excluded  from 
I  the  audience.     The  room  was  crowded.     Madame  Hahn,  wno 
\  had  previously  founded  an  association  of  working  men's  wives, 
I  which  was  dissolved  by  the  police  in  1875,  acted  as  president. 
'  Near  her  sat  Dr.  Wangemann,  who  had  come  to  defend  the 
ideas  of  the  Social  Christians,  and  Deputy  Most.     Huge  red 
placards  affixed  to  the  wall   bore  the  words,   Massenaustritt 
aus  der  Landskirche  ("  Secession  in   a   body  from  the  State 
Church ").     An  address  from  Deputy  Most  opened   the  pro- 
ceedings.    He  was  glad  to  see  the  women  taking  up  the  social 
cause.     Their  support  made  the  future  sure.     "  Women,  far 
I  (   more  than  men,  are  the  slaves  and  victims  of  capital.     Now, 
{ J   when  it  is  clear  that  nothing  can  resist  the  progress  of  demo- 
cracy, Court  preachers  and  other  ecclesiastics  are  insinuating 
themselves  into  our  ranks  in  order  to  found  a  new  party  and 
divide  our  forces.     The  best  way  of  putting  a  stop  to  these 
manoeuvres  is  to  leave  the  Church   in  a   body."      The  next 
speaker,  Madame  Hahn,  enumerated  all  the  infamies  of  the 
priesthood.     "  My  religion,"  she  exclaimed,  "  is  Socialism,  and 
it  alone  is  truth,  morality,  justice,  and  brotherhood.     Down 
with  the  priests  of  every  robe  and  every  hue  !     The  first  reform 
to  be  accomplished  is  to  change  all  churches  into  good  habi- 
tations  for   working    men."      Dr.    Wangemann    replied    that 
Christianity  had  elevated  woman.     In  the  course  of  his  mis- 
sions, he  had  found  abundant  proof  that  rehgion  alone  ensured 


EVANGELICAL   SOCIALISTS.  IO9 

happy  marriages  and  inspired  the  husband  with  respect  for 
his  wife.  After  he  had  developed  these  ideas,  Most  repUed 
to  him  :  "  I  do  not  deny  the  good  effect  of  Christianity  on 
savages,  and  therefore  I  would  urge  many  missionaries  and 
court  preachers  to  go  and  deliver  their  sermons  to  Hottentots. 
With  civilized  people  they  can  only  produce  weariness  and 
annoyance."  The  meeting  broke  up  half  an  hour  after  mid- 
night, when  the  ladies  left,  singing  the  Marseillaise  of  Audorff. 

The   formation   of  the    Social    Evangelical   party  was  re- 
ceived  by  the  Liberal  press  in  almost  as   hostile  a  way  as 
by  the  demagogue  papers.     "  We  prefer,"  said  one  newspaper^ 
"socialists  in  blouse  to  socialists  in  surplice."     The  official!! 
and    Conservative   press,    on    the    other    hand,    praised    the 
attempt.     "  We  are  glad,"  wrote  the  Norddeiitsche  Allgemeine  ' 
Zeihing,'  "  to   see   men   who   are   enlightened,   patriotic,    and 
devoted   to  the  monarchy,   bravely  confronting   the  atheistic 
and  anarchic  movement  which  is  daily  gaining  ground.     It  is 
a  mistake  for  the  upper  classes  to  shut  their  eyes  to  the  danger. 
Let  them  support  the  efforts  of  these  men,  who  are  placing 
themselves  in  the  van  in  defence  of  all  that  we  hold  dear.     It 
would  be  well  if  local  societies,  animated  with  the  same  spirit, 
were  formed  in  all  parts  of  the  country."     This  was,  in  fact, 
what  the  evangelical  party  of  social  reform  were  endeavouring 
to  do.     They  showed  the  most  praiseworthy  activity.     Besides 
frequent   and  well-attended  conferences  at  Berlin,  when  the 
different  points  of  the  programme  were  discussed,  they  sent 
missionaries  into  the  provinces  to  convene  meetings,  explain 
the  objects  to  be  pursued,  and  found  local  associations.     In  this 
way  they  succeeded  in  forming,  in  many  districts,  groups  of 
well-to-do  persons,  who  were  disposed  to  take  up  the  social 
question  in  both  its  theoretical  and  practical  aspect.     But  they 
had  much  less  hold  on  the  lower  classes  than  the  Catholic 
circles   had.      Obedient   to    the   word   of  command,    all    the 
Catholic  priests  were  engaged  in  the  work,  while  the  Protestant , 
pastors  acted  in  an  isolated  way  and  in  accordance  with  their  i 
own  convenience  and  convictions. 

The  attempts  against  the  life  of  the  Emperor  and  the  pre- 
sentation of  the  Anti-Socialist  Bill  placed  the  Social  Evangelical 


110  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

party  in  a  most  delicate  and  difficult  position.  Its  founders 
were  court  preachers.  How  could  it  refrain  from  applauding 
the  employment  of  the  most  stringent  means  against  savages 
who  were  impelled,  by  a  barbarous  and  stupid  fanaticism,  to 
commit  a  crime,  abominable  in  itself  and,  in  any  case,  useless 
for  the  furtherance  of  their  designs  ?  The  Staats-Socialist  had 
proclaimed  itself  monarchical  and  conservative.  Could  it  reject 
a  law  presented  in  the  name  of  the  very  principles  which  it 
had  undertaken  to  defend  ?  It  actually  did  so,  nevertheless ; 
and  in  so  doing  it  showed  both  foresight  and  courage,  It  savv 
in  the  outrages  a  proof  that  it  had  not  exaggerated  the  danger 
to  be  apprehended  from  the  Socialist  demagogy ;  but  it  rejected 
the  Anti-Socialist  law,  because,  without  removing  the  evil,  it 
would  cause  it  to  disappear  from  sight,  and  thus  postpone  the 
application  of  a  remedy,  and  because  it  would  have  the  dis- 
astrous effect  of  hindering  the  upper  classes  from  doing  their 
duty  to  those  dependent  on  them.  It  may  be  questioned  if 
the  Staats-Socialist  and  the  Social  Evangelical  party,  in  spite 
of  the  ties  connecting  them  with  the  Court,  will  escape  the 
rigorous  measures  which  are  striking  in  all  directions  associa- 
tions and  papers  concerned  with  the  social  question.  The 
object  pursued  by  the  Government  is,  apparently,  to  enforce 
complete  silence  on  this  subject,  in  order  that  the  police  may 
be  able  to  boast  that  they  have  established  order  and  peace. 
Silent ium  pacem  appellaiit. 

To  get  a  complete  idea  of  the  tendencies  and  principles 
that  presided  over  the  formation  of  the  Social  Evangelical 
party,  one  should  read  Herr  Todt's  book  on  "  Radical  German 
Socialism  and  Christian  Society."  *  It  has  had  a  great  success, 
and  two  editions  of  it  were  sold  off  in  a  few  months.  It  would 
be  interesting  to  compare  it  with  the  book  of  M.  Frangois 
Huet,  Le  Regne  social  dii  christianisme,  published  in  1852,  in 
the  same  spirit  and  on  a  similar  plan.  Herr  Todt  places  the 
following  epigraph  at  the  head  of  his  work  :  "  Whoever  would 
understand  the  social  question  and  contribute  to  its  solution 
must  have  on  his  right  hand  the  works  on  Political  Economy, 

*  De!'  radikale  detitsche  Socialismiis  und  die  Christlichc  Gesellschaft,  by 
RodolfTodt.     Wittemburg,  1878. 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  Ill 

and  on  his  left  the  literature  of  Scientific  Socialism,  and  must 
keep  the  New  Testament  open  before  him."  Political  Economy, 
he  adds,  plays  the  part  of  anatomy :  it  makes  known  the  con- 
struction of  the  social  body.  SociaHsm  is  the  pathology  which 
describes  the  malady,  and  the  Gospel  is  the  therapeutics  which 
apply  the  remedy. 

Is  it  not  remarkable  that  the  Christian  countries  are  pre-  | 
cisely  those  which  have  evolved  Socialism  ?    What  is  the  reason  \ 
of  that?     According  to  Herr  Todt,  it  is  because  Socialism  has  ; 
its  root  in  Christianity  :  only  it  has  gone  astray  from  it.     It  is  ' 
the  fruit  of  the  Gospel,  but  it  has  become  corrupt.     In  reality, 
according  to  Herr  Todt,  Socialism  springs  from  the  sentiment 
of  revolt,  produced  by  the  sight  of  the  contrast  between  the 
existing  economical  constitution  of  society  and  a  certain  ideal 
of  justice  and  equality.     Hence  arises  the  desire  to  remove  this 
contrast  by  a  radical  reform  of  the  social  order.     Christianity 
also   condemns  the  present  world,  where  selfishness  and  evil 
passions  prevail,  and  announces   the   "new  kingdom"  where 
the  first  shall  be  last,  where  charity  shall  make  all  men  brothers, 
and  where  the  earth  shall  belong  to  the  peaceful  and  lowly. 
The  true  Christian  endeavours  to  correct  himself  and  reform 
his  surroundings  according  to  the  divine  command.     Whoever 
then  asserts,  like  the  Positivist  or  Economist,  that  the  actual 
course  of  events  is  necessary,  fatal,  and  conformable  to  natural 
laws,  places  himself  in  opposition  to  the  teaching  of  Jesus. 
He,  on  the  other  hand,  conforms  to  that  teaching  who  aims  at 
improvement  and  perfection  in  everything.     Moreover,  accord- 
ing to  Herr  Todt,  every  Christian  who  is  in"  earnest  with  his  > 
faith  has  a  Socialistic  vein  in  him,  and  every  Socialist,  however  ' 
bitter  his  hatred  of  religion  may  be,  has  an  unconscious  Chris- 
tianity in   his   heart.     Radical    Socialism,   however,  preaches  1 
atheism  and  communism,  and  in  so  doing  is  far  off  from  the 
Gospel. 

We  must,  not,  however,  deceive  ourselves,  says  our  author ; 
Socialism  is  not,  as  is  commonly  supposed,  a  mere  passing 
malady  which  will  disappear  as  it  came.  It  will  grow  and 
spread.  There  have  been  outbursts  of  Sociahsm  at  different 
epochs,  when  the  sufferings  of  the  people  became  intolerable, 


1 1 2  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DA  Y. 

as  at  the  time  of  the  Jacquerie  in  France,  of  Wat  Tyler  in 
England,  and,  in  the  sixteenth  century,  of  the  peasants'  war  in 
Germany.  To-day  the  lot  of  the  lower  classesjs  much  improved, 
and  yet  it  is  at  this  moment  that  the  disease  is  showing  itself. 
It  appears  even  in  countries  where  easy  circumstances  are 
general,  as  in  the  United  States.  Poverty,  then,  is  noFTts 
cause,  but  rather  the  contrast  between  the  ideal  and  the  actual. 
What  will  make  it  spread  and  endure  is,  in  the  second  place, 
the  diffusion  of  a  certain  amount  of  natural  science  and  poli- 
tical economy ;  and  lastly,  the  constant  and  rapid  means  of 
communication  between  man  and  man — the  railways,  the  post, 
and,  above  all,  the  press. 

When  a  revolutionary  movement  starts  from  a  few  leaders, 
it  is  possible  to  put  an  end  to  the  danger  by  suppressing  thern. 
But  when  a  profound  fermentation  takes  hold  of  the  masses,  it 
is  of  no  use  to  get  rid  of  the  leaders  :  others  will  always  be 
found  to  fill  their  places.  It  is  too  late  in  the  day  to  suppress 
all  liberties.  People  will  put  up  with  an  exceptional  regime 
during  a  critical  period,  but  no  civilized  State  in  the  West  will 
any  longer  submit  definitively  to  absolution  and  a  state  of  siege. 
We  may  see,  moreover,  by  the  case  of  Russia,  that  security  is 
not  to  be  obtained  in  this  way.  According  to  Herr  Todt, 
Christianity  alone  can  reconcile  the  antagonistic  classes,  the 
rich  and  the  poor,  by  filling  their  hearts  with  brotherly  love 
and  the  sense  of  justice. 

Examining  in  succession  the  several  articles  of  the  pro- 
gramme of  Radical  Socialism,  our  author  compares  them  with 
the  principles  of  the  Gospel,  and  points  out  in  what  they  agree 
with  it  and  in  what  they  differ  from  it.  This  study  of  the  social 
bearing  of  Christianity  indicates  clearly  the  close  relations 
which  exist  between  Political  Economy  and  religious  ideas. 

We  cannot  discuss  here  the  numerous  questions  raised  by 
this  comparison.  We  believe  it  may  be  said  that  the  funda- 
mental idea  of  the  Social  Evangelical  group  is  correct.  To  dis- 
arm popular  animosities,  the  upper  classes,  commencing  with 
the  leaders  of  the  State,  must  concern  themselves  with  every- 
thing that  can  better  the  lot  of  the  masses.  Christian  charity 
must  be  translated  into  facts.     Formerly,  this  duty  was  thought 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  II3 

to  be  performed  by  almsgiving,  and  no  doubt  the  giving  of 
alms  will  always  be  indispensable  in  certain  cases  ;  but  if  too 
easily  attained  or  too  abundant,  alms  degrade  the  recipients, 
and  if  transformed  into  an  institution,  they  encourage  idleness. 
Economic  science  proves  that  it  is  not  so  easy  to  do  good. 
What  is  wanted  is  to  put  the  labourer  in  the  way  of  bettering  his 
condition  by  means  of  his  own  efforts,  and  with  this  object  to 
multiply  those  institutions  which  raise  and  civilize  him,  such  as 
working  men's  clubs,  free  libraries,  savings  banks,  schools  for 
adults,  industrial  schools.  The  energy  of  philanthropists  and 
patrons  may  be  usefully  employed  in  founding  these  institu- 
tions in  all  directions. 

Herren  Stocker  and  Todt  are  right :  the  upper  classes,  by ' 
their  practical  materialism,  exercise  a  disastrous  influence  over 
those  beneath  them.  Luxury  devours  capital,  the  accumula- 
tion of  which  would  have  raised  wages.  It  puffs  up  vanity, 
upsets  fortunes,  excites  the  envy  and  stirs  up  the  hatred  of  men 
who  often  lack  the  very  necessaries  of  existence.  Simplicity  of 
living,  application  to  work,  high  moral  and  intellectual  culture 
— these  are  the  examples  that  ought  to  be  set  before  the  eyes 
of  the  people.  Those  who  dispose  of  the  net  produce  of  a 
country  ought  to  employ  their  superfluity,  not  in  refining  their 
own  pleasures  nor  in  satisfying  their  pride,  but  in  works  of 
general  utility  and  for  the  good  of  their  fellow-beings.  What 
M.  Dolfus  has  done  at  Mulhouse,  and  M.  Siegfried  at  Havre, 
shows  how  a  beginning  may  be  made.  I  may  also  mention 
another  example  well  known  in  Belgium,  and  which  deserves 
to  be  equally  known  abroad,  as  it  shows  how  much  good  may 
be  done  at  the  initiation  of  a  single  individual.  In  1866,  M. 
Laurent,  professor  of  law  at  the  University  of  Ghent,  conceived 
the  idea  of  introducing  habits  of  thrift  among  the  children  in 
the  primary  schools  of  that  town.  He  went  about  from  school 
to  school,  explaining  to  masters  and  pupils  the  economic  ad- 
vantages, and  especially  the  moral  benefits,  which  accrue  from 
habits  of  saving.  Carried  away  by  his  earnest  and  sympathetic 
language,  the  children,  sou  by  sou,  placed  their  little  savings 
in  the  hands  of  the  master,  who,  as  soon  as  they  had  in  this 
way  put  together  one  franc,  procured  for  them  a  savings  bank 


I 


114  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

pass  book.  Five  years  afterwards,  in  1871,  out  of  10,671  pupils, 
the  number  of  pass-books  was  8000,  and  since  then  the  pro- 
portion has  increased. 

This  may  be  the  beginning  of  a  transformation  in  the  social 
situation.     Once  the  working  man  attains  to  the  possession  of 
capital,  he  becomes  immediately  converted  to  ideas  of  order, 
and  the  enemy  of  any  revolutionary  movement  which  might 
take  away  from  him  his  hardly  won  savings.     This  result  can 
only  be  arrived  at  by  teaching  him  thrift  from  his  childhood,  so 
that  he  may  form  the  habit  of  saving.     Afterwards,  when  he 
has  acquired  the  habit  of  useless  or  harmful  spending,  better 
counsels  will  remain  without  fruit.     The  only  capital  that  will 
be  preserved  is  that  which  the  labourer  has  himself  created. 
It  is  in  vain  to  make  loans  to  working  men,  as   Lassalle  de- 
manded should  be  done,  or  as  the  German  Emperor,  under 
the  inspiration  of  Prince  Bismarck,  actually  did;  they  would  be 
soon  swallowed  up,  because  the  aptitude  for  making  a  good  use 
thereof  would  be  wanting.    He  alone  who  knows  how  to  create 
capital  will  be  in  a  position  to  manage,  preserve,  and  increase 
it.     The  working  men's  societies,  to  which  the  French  Govern- 
ment, in  1848,  made  advances,  soon  collapsed.     The  only  ones 
that  can  maintain  themselves  are  those  which,  like  the  pioneers 
of  Rochdale,  have  formed  their  own  capital  by  means  of  order 
and  economy.     The  system  of  school  saving,  as  may  be  seen 
in  the   reports  of  M.   de  Malarce,  has  been  introduced  into 
many  towns  in  different  countries,  and  notably  in  France.     If 
it  can  be  made  general,  the  benefits  which  will  result  from  it 
are  incalculable.    What  is  most  distressing,  when  one  considers 
the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes,  is  not  so  much  the  in- 
sufficiency of  wages,  as  the  bad  use  which  is  too  often  made  of 
them.     An  increase  in  remuneration  results,  for  the  most  part, 
in  merely  increasing  the  amount  spent  in  drink,  and  thus~in 
further   degrading  the   workman.      It   is   in   vain   to   preach 
economy  to  grown  men.      Thrift  is  a  virtue  of  habit,  and  it  is 
from  childhood  that  it  must  be  inculcated. 

Through  the  initiation  of  M.  Laurent,  there  were  also 
established  at  Ghent  working  men's  clubs,  where  the  factory 
operatives  could  assemble  to  listen  to  debates,  to  go  through 


EVANGELICAL  SOCIALISTS.  II5 

gymnastic  exercises,  to  sing  in  choruses,  to  act  plays,  and  to  H.  "i-q'^ 
read  the  papers  and  books*  Soon  tliere  were  also  established 
four  clubs  for  factory  women  in  different  parts  of  the  town, 
where  the  young  girls  found  similar  means  of  moral  and  intel- 
lectual culture.  The  touching  and  instructive  book  of  M. 
Laurent,  Societes  ouvrieres  de  Gaud.,  must  be  consulted  for  the 
details  of  what  takes  place  at  these  reunions  of  workwomen 
and  the  happy  effects  that  they  produce.  Truly  this  is  a  work 
of  Christian  economy,  such  as  Herren  Stocker  and  Todt 
recommend. 

No  doubt  several  of  the  articles  in  the  programme  of  the 
Social  Evangelical  party  give  rise  to  serious  objections ;  but 
the  general  spirit  is  excellent.  The  ruling  classes,  and  even 
ministers  of  religion,  cannot  be  too  often  reminded  of  the 
duties  of  enUghtened  and  practical  charity  imposed  upon  them 
by  the  position  they  occupy.  It  is  also  true  that  the  force  of 
the  teaching  of  Jesus  in  the  world  is  not  exhausted.  Its 
enemies  repeat  that  now  may  be  seen  once  more  how  religions 
die.  I  do  not  believe  it.  Dogma  will  occupy  a  diminishing 
place,  but  the  moral  and  juridical  influence  of  Christianity  will 
increase.  The  faith  of  the  Evangelical  Socialists  may  be 
Slimmed  up  in  these  words  of  Emmanuel  Fichte  :  "  Christianity 
still  bears  in  its  bosom  a  renovating  power  of  which  the  world 
has  no  conception.  Hitherto  it  has  acted  only  on  individuals, 
and  indirectly,  through  them,  on  the  State.  But  whoever  can 
appreciate  its  inward  action,  either  from  the  standpoint  of  a 
believer,  or  from  that  of  an  independent,  thinker,  will  admit 
that  it  will  one  day  become  the  immanent  and  organizing  force 
of  society,  and  then  it  will  reveal  itself  to  the  world  in  all  the 
depth  of  its  conceptions  and  in  all  the  wealth  of  its  power  for 
good." 

*  These  clubs  were  in  want  of  premises.     M.  Laurent,  having  gained 
by  his  work  on   School  Saving  the  Guinard  prize  of  10,000  francs,  "in-  ;,  ; 
tended   to   reward  the  work   or  invention  best  calculated  to  improve  the 
material  or  the  moral  position  of  the  working  classes,"  gave  this  sum  to 
aid  in  building  suitable  premises,  and  he  added  to  it  the  author's  profits  on  ',  ■, 
his  great  treatise  on  Civil  Law.      Unwearied  brain-worker,  he  gave  to  his  ' "' 
brothers  of  hand-labour  the  fruit  of  half  a  century's  toil. 


Il6  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

CATHOLIC    SOCIALISTS. 

I'-  T  N    former   chapters   we    have   given   an   account   of    the 

X  doctrines  of  the  masters  of  German  Sociahsm,  Lassalle 
and  Karl  Marx.  But  in  order  to  understand  the  power  of  this 
great  movement  of  ideas  against  which  the  German  Empire,  in 
the  midst  of  all  its  triumphs,  deems  that  exceptional  measures 
are  necessary,  it  must  be  studied  in  all  its  varieties,  and  these 
varieties  are  numerous.  There  are  Democratic  Socialists,  In- 
ternational Socialists,  Christian  Socialists  and  Social  Christians, 
Catholic  Socialists,  State  Socialists,  Socialists  of  the  Chair,  and 
many  more  besides.  It  is  the  Catholic  Socialists  whose  ideas 
we  shall  now  endeavour  to  make  known. 

An  Italian  diplomatist.  Baron  Blanc,  a  man  of  great  pene- 
tration, and  one  who  had  constant  intercourse  with  Cavour, 
often  told  me  how  this  great  and  far-seeing  patriot  had  predicted 
that  one  day  Ultramontanism  would  ally  itself  with  Socialism. 
M.  Blanc  himself  confidently  believed  this.  Prince  Bismarck, 
too,  has  many  a  time  spoken  of  the  union  of  the  Red  with  the 
Black  International,  and  in  its  good  as  well  as  its  bad  sense 
•  the  saying  is  true.  The  two  doctrines,  Catholicism  and  Socialism, 
\ :  do,  in  fact,  both  place  their  ideal  above  and  beyond  the  father- 
land, and  dream  of  the  establishment  of  a  new  order  of  things 
in  which  the  same  principles  shall  reign  everywhere.  Whether 
,  it  be  a  virtue  or  a  fault,  both  are  ready  to  sacrifice  nationality 
to  universality.  The  predictions  of  Cavour  and  Bismarck  seem 
to-day  to  be  realized.  In  Germany  the  Catholic  Socialistic 
movement  can  now  count  fifteen  years  of  existence.  At  the 
last  elections  for  the  Imperial  Parliament,  Socialists  and  Ultra- 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  WJ 

montanes  voted  together  wherever  they  were  in  a  minority,  and 
at  the  second  ballot  they  came  to  an  understanding  among 
themselves  to  get  in  that  one  of  the  candidates  of  either  party 
who  had  received  the  largest  number  of  votes.  The  Catholic 
papers  declare  openly  that  rather  than  come  to  terms  with  the 
Chancellor  they  will  support  the  most  extreme  parties,  and  in 
the  debate  upon  the  Anti-Socialist  law  the  Ultramontane 
centre  declared  at  the  outset  that  it  would  not  accept  it  under 
any  form,  no  matter  how  amended.  Bismarck  may  well  main- 
tain that  the  alliance  of  the  two  Internationals  is  an  accomplished 
fact ;  it  is  even  said  that  his  object  in  entering  upon  relations 
with  Rome  was  to  break  up  their  union. 

In  France  it  would  appear  that  the  militant  Catholics,  the 
only  ones  who  really  constitute  a  political  party,  are  entering 
upon  the  same  course.  Recently  the  paper  which  wields  the 
greatest  influence  among  them,  and  which  is  at  the  same  time 
looked  upon  with  most  favour  in  Rome,  published  a  complete 
plan  of  social  reforms,  destined  to  put  an  end  to  the  "  disorder 
of  the  existing  industrial  regime."  The  general  idea  was  indi- 
cated in  the  book  of  a  distinguished  Economist,  M.  Perin,* 
professor  at  the  Catholic  University  of  Louvain ;  but  up  to  this 
they  seem  to  have  confined  themselves  to  a  Platonic  aspiration  ' 
towards  a  return  to  the  economic  institutions  of  the  Middle 
Ages.  Now,  on  the  contrary,  the  question  is  to  devise  a  ' 
programme  of  practical  reforms  which  will  rally  the  labouring 
classes  around  it.  M.  Perin  and  the  Count  de  Mun  both  said 
as  much,  with  all  the  eloquence  which  the  subject  inspires,  at 
the  congress  of  Catholic  labourers  lately  assembled  at  Chartres. 
Everywhere,  under  the  most  various  forms,  working  men's  clubs 
and  associations  are  founded,  where  these  ideas  are  made  known 
and  spread.  As,  however,  in  France,  Democratic  Socialism 
fights  in  the  front  rank  of  the  great  anti-clerical  army.  Catholic 
Socialism  can  scarcely  borrow  anything  from  it,  or  grant  it  any 
support.  But  in  Germany,  where  every  shade  of  Socialism 
flourishes^  this  remarkable  and  most  important  evolution  may 
be  observed. 

*  La  Richessc  dans  les  socictes  chretiennes.     See  also  another  work  by 
M.  Perin,  Les  Doctrines  economiques  depuis  un  siicle. 


Il8  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Already  in  1863,  at  the  Munich  Congress  of  CathoHc 
savants,  the  illustrious  theologian  Doellinger  maintained  that 
Catholic  associations  should  grapple  with  the  social  question".'" 
Soon  afterwards,  an  eminent  prelate,  the  Bishop  of  Mayence, 
Monseigneur  Ketteler,  published  a  book  upon  the  same  subject, 
which  made  a  great  stir,  and  which  was  entitled  Die  Arbeiter- 
frage  und  das  Kristenthiim  ("  The  Labour  Question  and 
Christianity").  He  showed  that,  upon  certain  points.  Social- 
ism and  Christianity  were  in  accord.  In  reality  the  idea  was 
not  altogether  new.  In  the  Middle  Ages,  the  Jacquerie  in 
France,  and  the  revolted  peasantry  of  the  sixteenth  century  in 
Germany,  invoked  the  Gospel.  The  men  of  the  French  Revo- 
lution, who  dreamed  of  something  more  than  the  establishment 
of  liberty  and  civil  equality,  did  the  same ;  and,  in  his  cynical 
language,  Camille  Desmoulins  called  Jesus  the  first  of  the 
sans-ailottes.  After  1848  French  Socialists  frequently  cited 
the  Christian  Fathers  in  support  of  their  doctrines ;  and  a 
Communist,  Villegardelle,  who  was  not  wanting  in  intelligence, 
compiled  a  whole  volume  of  extracts  from  their  writings  to 
prove  that  private  property  should  be  unhesitatingly  abolished.* 

In  1852,  twelve  years  before  the  Bishop  of  Mayence, 
Francois  Huet,  a  Catholic  philosopher  of  rare  merit,  issued  a 
volume,  Le  Regne  Social  du  Christianisme,  where  may  be  found 
explained,  with  greater  clearness,  method,  and  science,  those 
ideas  which  are  to-day  promulgated  by  the  Catholic  Socialists. 
It  is  beyond  question  the  best  book  upon  the  subject  which 
has  yet  appeared. 

When  the  Gospel  is  appealed  to  in  favour  of  Communism 
or  Socialism,  this  is  at  once  right  and  wrong.  If  it  be  intended 
that  Christianity  enjoins  any  particular  social  or  political  or- 
ganization, this  is  a  mistake.  What  Christ  preached  was  a 
change  of  heart,  internal  reformation.  He  did  not  dream  of 
modifying  surrounding  institutions ;  they  were  about  to  disap- 
pear in  a  cosmical  revolution  of  which  the  Evangelists  have  left 
us  a  terrible  picture.     It  was   "  in  another  world  and  under 

*  Histoire  des  idces  socialcs  avant  la  Revohttion,  by  F.  Villegardelle. 
See  also,  for  the  same  period  and  style  of  thought,  U Evangile  devant  le 
Steele,  by  Simon  Granger. 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  II9 

another  heaven"  that  the  ideal  He  announced  was  to  be  reahzed. 
"  My  kingdom  is  not  of  this  world,"  Christ  used  to  say.  The 
element  of  truth  in  the  assertion  is  that  the  Gospel,  like  the 
prophets  of  the  Old  Testament,  is  full  of  a  spirit  of  brotherhood 
and  equality.  The  "  glad  tidings  (emyye'Aiov)  of  the  kingdom  " 
is  announced  to  the  poor.  In  the  "  kingdom  "  the  first  shall 
be  last.  "  Blessed  be  they  which  do  hunger  and  thirst  after 
righteousness,  for  they  shall  be  filled."  What  profound  words, 
overflowing  with  that  tender  love  for  the  afflicted  which  has 
been  called  charity  ! 

Whatever  the  enemies  of  Christianity  may  say,  it  is  beyond 
question  from  the  gospel  that  the  movement  for  the  emancipa-  , 
tion  of  the  lower  classes  has  come,  which,  after  having  little  byi' 
little  abolished  slavery  and  serfage,  proclaimed  equality  first  by 
the  American  and  then  by  the  French  Revolution.     All  that 
is  done  to  elevate  the  lowly  and  to  lighten  the  burden  of  the 
poor   is  conformable  to   the  teachings  of  Christ ;    and  thus 
Socialism,  in  its  general  tendency,  and  in  so  far  as  it  only 
aspires,  according  to  the  St.  Simonian  formula,  "  to  ameliorate 
the  moral,  intellectual,  and  material  condition  of  the  greatest 
number,"  proceeds  evidently  from  Christian  inspiration.     No 
more  can  it  be  denied  that  those  words  in  which  Christ  preached 
charity,  brotherly  love,  and  indifference  to  the  world,  when 
interpreted  by  absolute  idealism  and  excessive  asceticism,  have 
resulted  naturally  in  communism ;  a  communism  not  merely    ^ 
such  as  was  practised  in  Jerusalem  by  the  immediate  followers 
of  Christ,  but  such  as  may  still  be  seen  under  our  very  eyes  in 
the  thousands  of  convents  that  fill  with  increasing  numbers  both 
town  and  country.     The  Church  has  never  condemned  that  t ; 
social  regime  from  which  private  property  is  banished,  and  ij 
even  the  idea  of  mine  and  thine  proscribed  as  an  outrage  on '( 
brotherhood.     On  the  contrary,  even  its  most  politic  doctors, 
such  as  Bossuet,  have  seen  therein  the  ideal  of  the  Christian 
life.      No  doubt  they  were  only  thinking   of  a   communism 
voluntarily  practised.     But  if  such  be  the  ideal,  is  not  the  wish 
to  make  it  adopted  by  all  reasonable?     At  all   events,  it  is 
certain  that  if  those  who  attack  the  actual  organization  of  our  ^  • 
society  wish  to  seek  arms  in  the  writings  of  the  Christian  Fathers7j 


7u> 


I20  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

they  will  find  there  an  inexhaustible  arsenal.  Upon  this  ground 
Catholicism  and  Socialism  may  easily  meet ;  it  is  sufficient  if 
they  merely  remember  their  antecedents  and  return  to  their 
principles.* 

There  is  no  stranger  aberration  than  that  of  the  levelling 
Democrats  who  attack  Christianity  and  adopt  the  doctrines  of 
scientific  materialism.  If  the  existing  social  organization  is  to 
be  changed,  it  must  be  by  invoking  certain  rights  that  have 
been  ignored,  and  by  showing  another  ideal  to  be  attained.  It 
is  a  spiritualist  philosophy  alone  that  seeks,  among  abstract 
ideas  of  justice  and  rational  order,  for  the  notion  of  a  right 
superior  to  any  recognized  at  present,  and  one  to  which  all 
existing  rights  ought  to  be  subject.  It  is  Christianity  which 
has  put  into  the  minds  of  the  Western  world  the  idea  of  the 
"  kingdom,"  that  is,  an  ideal  world  completely  different  from 
this  world  of  ours.  Socialism  and  Christianity  both  aspire  to 
so  change  things  that  justice  shall  reign  everywhere. 

Scientific  materialism  will  say,  after  the  manner  of  Pilate, 
What  is  justice?  It  cares  only  for  the  facts  it  verifies;  and 
when  these  facts  recur  with  regularity  and  sequence,  it  calls 
them  natural  laws  which  must  be  submitted  to.  How  can  a 
right  be  conceived  which  is  contrary  to  facts,  that  is,  to  natural 
laws  ?  In  the  struggle  for  existence  the  best  armed  succeed ; 
the  feeble  disappear  leaving  no  posterity,  and  thus  progress  is 
attained  by  natural  selection.     The  Economist,  who  confines 

*  In  the  sermons  of  Eossuet  there  are  numerous  passages  which 
Socialists  might  take  as  a  text  for  their  demands.  For  example,  in  the 
Sermon  sur  la  dignite  dcs panvres  dans  PEglise,  he  says,  "God  has  sent 
me,  says  the  Saviour,  to  preach  the  Gospel  to  the  poor — Evangelisare 
paiiperibus  niisit  me.  The  rich  are  tolerated  only  in  order  that  they  may 
assist  the  poor.  This  is  why,  in  the  primitive  Church,  everything  was  in 
common,  so  that  none  should  be  guilty  of  leaving  any  one  in  want.  For 
what  injustice,  my  brethren,  that  the  poor  should  bear  the  whole  burden, 
and  that  the  whole  weight  of  misery  should  fall  on  their  shoulders  !  If  they 
complain  and  murmur  against  Divine  Providence — Lord  !  let  me  say  it — it 
is  not  without  some  colour  of  justice  ;  for,  as  we  are  all  kneaded  of  the 
same  lump,  and  there  cannot  be  much  difference  between  clay  and  clay, 
why  do  we  see,  on  the  one  side,  joy,  honour,  and  affluence,  and,  on  the 
other,  sorrow  and  despair,  extreme  want,  and,  more  often  still,  contempt 
and  servitude?  Why  should  one  lucky  individual  live  in  abundance  and  be 
able  to  satisfy  his  every  little  useless  fancy,  while  some  unfortunate  wretch, 
a  man  as  much  as  he,  cannot  maintain  his  poor  family,  nor  allay  the  pangs 
of  hunger  that  devour  them  ?  " 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  121 

himself  to  merely  noting  facts  without  having  any  ideal  in  view, 
holds  similar  language.  Throw  down  all  obstacles,  establish 
liberty  in  everything  for  everybody,  and,  among  individuals 
given  over  to  universal  competition,  the  most  skilful  must 
succeed.  They  will  become  the  richest  and  most  powerful. 
This  is  what  the  welfare  of  society  demands,  and  that  constitutes 
justice. 

Malthus  was  the  precursor  of  Darwin,  who,  indeed,  fully 
recognized  the  fact.  When  Malthus  speaks  of  those  for  whom 
there  is  no  place  at  the  banquet  of  life,  and  whom  nature  is  \ 
not  slow  to  eliminate,  he  is  applying,  in  advance,  the  theory 
of  the  struggle  for  existence.  Christianity  reaches  out  a  hand 
towards  the  unfortunate  and  demands  a  place  for  the  disin- 
herited. Darwinism  and  the  orthodox  economy  tell  them  that 
they  are  in  the  way,  and  that  their  business  is  to  disappear. 
Darwinism  submits  to  the  actual,  in  the  name  of  natural  law 
and  necessity.  In  the  name  of  the  ideal,  Christianity  rebels 
against  the  actual,  and  hopes  to  subordinate  it  to  the  dictates 
of  reason  and  justice. 

We  shall  see,  in  analyzing  Bishop  Ketteler's  book,  how  it  ; 
is    that   the   Social    Democrats    prefer   atheistic    materialism,  |i 
which  logically  justifies  the  enslaving  of  the  people,  to  Chris- 
tianity, which  calls  them  to  freedom. 

The  Bishop  of  Mayence  was  looked   upon  as  the  most 
eminent  prelate  of  the  Catholic  hierarchy  in  Germany.     His 
recent  death  has  left  a  blank  which  has  not  been  filled  since. 
In   his   book,   "The   Labour   Question  and   Christianity,"  in  | 
order  to  paint  the  evils  of  existing  society,  he  borrows  the  i 
colours  and  even  the  expressions  of  Lassalle.     Like  him,  he  \ 
considers  Liberalism  and  the  Political  Economy  of  Manchester,  '. 
das  Manchestei'thum,  responsible  for  these  evils.     The  French 
Ultramontanes    of  to-day  express   the  same  Ideas   and   hold 
exactly  the  same  language.     Thus  at  Chartres,  in  the  Congress 
of  the  Catholic  unions,  Count  de  Mun  spoke  of  the  "  social 
claims   of  the   Catholic   labourers,"   and  of  a  return  to  the 
"ancient    organization    of    labour."      He    depicted    modern 
society  precisely  as  the  SociaHsts  do:    "The  thirst  of  specu- 
latioiPconsumes  everything;   a  merciless  struggle  has   taken 


122  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  place  of  healthy  emulation,  the  small  crafts  are  being  crushed 
out,  professional  work  is  decaying,  wages  are  being  disgrace- 
fully lowered,  pauperism  is  spreading  like  a  hideous  leprosy, 
the  oppressed  labourer  feels  his  heart  swelling  with  an  im- 
placable hatred,  and  he  has  no  safety  but  in  resistance,  no 
help  but  in  war.  Coalitions  and  strikes  take  the  place  of 
organized  labour.  Laissez  faire,  laissez  passer ;  this  is  the 
decree  of  Liberalism, "this  is  revolutionary  liberty ;  and  it  has 
but  one  name — the  liberty  of  might."  *  These  lines  seem 
borrowed  from  Bishop  Ketteler's  own  book. 

The  Bishop  of  Mayence  did  not  conceal  his  sympathy  for 
Lassalle,  at  the  time  even  when  he  was  founding  and  organ- 
izing the  Socialist  party  in  Germany.  When  the  Countess 
Hatzfeld  visited  him  to  solicit  his  aid  in  removing  the  obstacles 
which  stood  in  the  way  of  the  marriage  of  I^assalle,  a  non- 
converted  Jew,  with  the  daughter  of  a  Bavarian  diplomatist 
who  would  not  hear  of  it,  Bishop  Ketteler  highly  praised  the 
speeches  and  enterprise  of  the  famous  agitator.  The  social 
question,  said  the  prelate,  is  far  more  serious  than  these 
political  questions  which  fill  newspapers  and. parliaments  with 
their"  endless  debates.  These  latter  interest  the  bourgeois 
alone ;  the  other  concerns  the  very  existence  of  the  masses. 
For  the  working  man,  the  question  is  to  find  the  means  of 
living.  This  idea  is  continually  repeated  in  the  German 
Socialist  papers  under  this  "  realistic "  formula :  "  The  social 
question  is  a  stomach  question"  {Die  sociale  Frage  ist  eine 
Magenfrage)^ 

Upon  what  does  the  condition  of  the  labourer  depend.^ 

*  As  it  is  important  to  show  to  what  point  the  French  Ul tramontanes 
use  the  same  language  and  tactics  as  the  German,  we  may  cite  another 
passage  from  the  speech  of  Count  de  Man  :   "  Liberty,  gentlemen  !    Where 
is  it  ?     I  hear  it  spoken  of  on  all  hands,  but  what  I  see  is  people  confis- 
cating it  to  their  own  profit.     And  if  I  look  for  it  in  what  touches  you  most 
keenly,  in   what  you  have  most  at  heart,  in  this  great  labour  question, 
which  contains  all  others,  and  which  has  given  rise  to  the  social  as  well 
as  the  political  battle  of  our  days,  if  I  look  there  for  the  traces  of  liberty, 
I  discover  more  than  anywhere  else  this  revolutionary  counterfeit.     I  hear 
;  the  absolute  liberty  of  labour   proclaimed   as   the  very  principle  of  the 
!  enffahchiserrient  of  tTie  people,  and,  in  practice,  I  see  itresuTtin  the  slavery 
j  of  the  labourers  !    Tjehtlemen,  you  are  artisans  and  tir'adesmefi";  tell'me  if 
'*  I  am  mistaken  !  ..." 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 23 

Evidently  upon  the  rate  of  his  wages.     And  upon  what  does 
the  rate  of  wages  depend?      Upon  the  law  of  supply  and 
demand,  replies  the  prelate  with  the  Economists,  that  is  upon 
the  iron  law,  the  eherne  Lohngezetz,  as  Lassalle  expresses  it. 
Fonnerlyj_says  the   bishop,   the   future   of  the   labourer  was 
guaranteed  by  the  trade  guilds.     Labour  constituted  a  pra;_^ 
perty  which"the~regulations  of  the  guild  preserved  from  the 
fluctuations  of  the  market  and  the  strife  of  competition.     To- 
day this  is  no  longer  so ;  labour  is  now  treated  as  a  com- 
modity in  the  market   {Die  Arbeit  ist  eine   Waare),  and,  as 
such,  it  is  subject  to  the  laws  which  govern  other  commodities. 
The  price  of  commodities  rises  and  falls  according  as  they 
are  in  greater  or  less  demand  ;  but  it  tends  to  approach  the 
level  of  the  cost  of  production.     In  order  to  get  ahead  of 
his  competitors,  the  manufacturer  is  therefore  obliged  to  reduce 
this  cost  as  much  as  possible  so  as  to  be  able  to  offer  his 
wares  cheaper  than  others  do.     The  cost  of  production  of 
this  labour-commodity  is  the  food  and  maintenance  of  the 
labourer.       There   would   consequently   be   a   universal    and 
necessary  tendency  to   reduce   to  the  minimum  the  cost   of 
the  labourer's  maintenance.     The  employer  who  can  obtain  1 
from  his  workmen  the  largest  amount  of  useful  exertion  at  '■ 
the~least  expense  will  carry  the  day.     In^_tlie__present  state  1 
of'  things    this  is  a  mathematical    or  mechanical   law  which 
destroys  at  once  the  good  intentions  of  masters  and  the  resist-  [ 
ance  of  men,     Hence,  concludes  the  Bishop  of  Mayence,  it  \ 
cannot  be  denied  that  the  whole  existence  of  the  labouring 
population — who  constitute  the  greater  part  of  humanity — the 
daily  bread  of  the  father  and  his  family  is  subject   to   the 
fluctuations  of  a  market,  disturbed  by  endless  crises.     "  This 
is  the  slave  market  open  all  over  modern  Europe,  fashioned" 
according   to    the   model    sketched   by   our   enlightened   and 
anti-Christian  liberalism,  and  our  humanist  freemasonry." 

is  "it  not  curious  to  find  at  the  head  of  Monseigneur  von 
Ketteler's  book  the  theory  of  "  the  labour-commodity,"  Arbeit 
Waare,  which,  expanded  with  a  vast  display  of  scientific 
analyses  and  algebraic  formulas,  is  the  very  basis  of  Karl  Marx's 
famous  book,  Das  Kapital,  the  Gospel  of  German  Socialism  ? 


124  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

What  are  the  causes  of  the  intolerable  condition  of  the 
labouring  class  ?  According  to  the  bishop,  there  are  two 
principal  ones.  In  the  first  place,  the  utter  suppression  of 
all  organization  of  labour.  Formerly  a  sort  of  contract  existed 
between  society  and  the  labourer ;  the  artisan  satisfied  the 
needs  of  society,  and  society,  in  exchange,  guaranteed  to  him, 
by  means  of  the  guild  regulations,  both  work  and  wages.  To- 
day he  is  abandoned  without  hope  to  the  mercy  of  the  capi- 
talist. In  the  second  place,  the  more  and  more  general  use 
of  machinery  and  the  development  of  the  large  system  of 
manufacturing  are  always  lessening  the  number  of  artisans 
who  can  dispose  of  a  small  private  capital,  and  increasing 
that  of  the  wage-earners  who  depend  entirely  upon  the  ever- 
varying  demand  for  their  work. 

Having  indicated  the  causes  of  the  evil,  Monseigneur  von 
Ketteler  seeks  the  remedies.  They  will  never  be  found,  he 
says,  in  liberty,  as  is  often  imagined.  For  the  labourer,  liberty 
[  consists  in  offering  his  labour  at  a  discount  and  in  dying  of 
hunger,  if  his  labour  is  not  needed.  Free  trade  merely  sub- 
jects him  to  the  competition  of  countries  where  wages  are 
lowest.  You  speak  of  "  self-help,"  and  you  expect  the  working 
man  to  raise  himself  by  his  own  efforts.  That  is  all  very  well 
for  a  few,  the  fortunate  and  best  endowed,  who  may  be  able 
to  make  for  themselves  a  place  in  the  ranks  of  the  masters ; 
but  can  the  others  cease  to  be  wage-earners,  and  are  not 
wages  governed  by  the  "  iron  law,"  as  demonstrated  by  Lassalle 
and  Ricardo  ? 

All  the  fine  speeches  of  infidel  LiberaHsm  will  not  per- 
suade the  working  men  that  they  should  resign  themselves 
to  living  in  privation,  while  those  who  make  profit  out  of 
them  enjoy  all  the  refinements  of  luxury  and  sensuality. 
Christianity  alone  can  reconcile  the  lower  classes  to  that 
inequality  of  condition  which  is  inevitable  here  below. 

The  true  beUever  will  accept  without  bitterness  and  even 
with  joy  the  heaviest  trials  of  a  life  of  labour,  because  he 
expects  them  to  ensure  him  eternal  happiness.  Christianity 
inspires  a  spirit  of  self-sacrifice,  of  obedience,  of  order.  It 
condemns  drunkenness,  evil  ways,  debauchery,  and  rebellion. 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 25 

The  Christian  workman  -will  therefore  be  hardworking,  sub- 
missive to  his  masters,  sober,  always  satisfied,  and  respectful 
towards  all  in  authority  over  him. 

This  perfectly  correct  idea  of  Bishop  Ketteler  makes  it 
clear  why  demagogues  preach  atheistic  materialism.  The 
natural  instinct  of  man  impels  him  to  seek  his  own  happiness, 
and  if  the  hope  of  finding  it  in  another  world,  where  justice 
reigns,  is  taken  away  from  him,  he  will  seek  it  here.  If  matter 
IS  all  that  exists,  then,  at  all  cost,  he  must  have  material  andj  I 
immediate  enjoyment.  The  working  men  will  say,  We  have^ 
heard  enough  of  your  promised  heavenly  joys.  We  will  cash 
no  more  of  these  bills  upon  another  world  ;  it  is  in  this  world, 
the  only  real  one,  that  we  wish  to  have  happiness.  Right  is 
an  empty  word ;  might  decides  everything.  We  are  the  most 
numerous,  and  if  we  can  come  to  an  understanding  among 
ourselves  we  shall  be  the  strongest,  and  thus  we  shall  be  in 
the  right.  Royalty,  magistracies,  creeds,  armies,  parliaments- 
all  these  institutions  were  created  by  our  masters  in  order  to 
enslave  and  exploit  us.  Everything  must  be  overthrown,  even 
by  fire  and  sword,  if  needful,  in  order  that  we  may  taste  these 
pleasures  in  which  capitalists,  enriched  with  our  spoils,  have 
too  long  rioted. 

On  the  one  hand,  as  we  have  seen,  atheistic  materialism,    ^    |v^ 
by  denying  the  ideal  and  all  abstract  right,  deprives  the  claims  '      '^ 
of  the  proletariat  of  all  sound  basis,  and  on  this  account  the 
friends  of  the  people  should  reject  it ;  but  on  the  other  hand, 
by  annihilating  all  hope  of  a  future  life,  where  unalloyed  bliss 
would  compensate  for  the  fleeting  trials  of  this  world,  it  insti- 
gates the  masses  to  overturn  the  established  social  system,  in 
order,  amidst  the  general  ruin,  to  gain   possession   of  wealth 
and  the  material  joys  that  wealth  can  provide.     It  is,  therefore,  1 1 
evident  that  those  who  desire  a  violent  social  revolution  are  1 1 
interested  in  spreading  atheism,   and  that  those  who  spread!.! 
this  doctrine  are  furnishing  the  revolutionary  Socialists  with ' 
arms. 

Christianity  preaches  the  common  brotherhood  of  all  men,;!  ^-^    ,^^y^ 
the  mutual  love  and  equality  of  all ;  it, honours  labour,  because;'  U  , 

labour  alone  gives  man  a  chance  to  live ;  it  reinstates  the  poor       jiM,^  ► 


126  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

man  and  denounces  the  rich  idler.  There  is,  therefore,  no  more 
soHd  foundation  for  the  demand  of  reforms  on  behalf  of  the 
disinherited  classes. 

And  yet  Social  Democracy  repudiates  it,  and  tries  to  crush 
fit,  because,  Tjy  opening  up  the  prospect  of  a  future Tife,'  it"  tenHs 
to  make  men  resigned  to  the  ills  of  the  present  one.  No 
doctrine  is  more  calculated  than  atheistic  materialism,  to  in- 
flame the  hearts  of  working  men  with  rage  and  hatred  against 
the  system  of  society  which  determines  their  present  con- 
dition, and  therefore  it  is  that  the  apostles  of  anarchical 
revolution  adopt  and  propagate  it  as  their  gospel.  Accord- 
ingly, in  Russia,  we  see  that  Atheism  gives  birth  to  Nihilism, 
which  arms  itself  with  the  dagger,  and  avails  itself  of  incen- 
diarism, and  all  those  perfected  means  of  destruction  that 
science  invents. 

So  long  as  his  object  is  merely  to  show  the  beneficent  in- 
fluence which  the  application  of  Christian  principles  to  social 
problems  would  effect,  the  Bishop  of  Mayence  writes  pages  of 
eloquence  and  pathos.  But  as  soon  as  he  is  obliged  to  come 
down  to  the  lower  regions  of  Political  Economy,  and  point  out 
the  practical  means  of  improving  the  condition  of  the  working 
men,  he  becomes  involved  in  difficulties.  He  even  has  to 
borrow  from  Lassalle  the  idea  of  productive  co-operative  asso- 
ciations, by  means  of  which  that  Socialist  agitator  promised  to 
effect  a  complete  transformation  of  the  social  organism. 

The  danger  of  the  actual  situation  comes  from  the  antago- 
nism between  capital  and  labour.  But  if  the  same  individual 
is  at  once  capitalist  and  labourer,  harmony  is  established.  If 
the  present  wage-earner  could  but  own  a  part  of  the  mill,  the 
farm,  the  railway,  or  the  mine,  where  he  is  employed,  he  would 
receive  a  share  of  the  profits,  over  and  above  his  wages.  The 
war  between  classes  would  cease,  because  there  would  be  only 
one  class,  every  capitalist  working,  and  every  working  man 
possessing  capital.  The  ultimate  object,  therefore,  is  to  collect 
all  the  instruments  of  production  in  the  hands  of  co-operative 
societies,  in  order  to  establish,  in  the  great  industries  of  modern 
times,  organization  of  labour,  similar  to  that  of  the  trade-guilds 
of  the  Middle  Ages.     To  attain  this   object,   the   Bishop  of 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  12/ 

Mayence,  like  Lassalle,  thinks  that  the  "  self-help  "  of  Herr 
Schulze-Dehtsch,  that  is  to  say,  the  savings  of  the  working  men 
themselves,  will  not  be  sufficient.  But,  while  the  Socialist 
agitator  demands  a  hundred  millions  of  thalers  from  the  State 
to  reform  the  existing  order  of  things,  the  Catholic  prelate 
appeals  to  Christian  charity. 

The  social  question,  he  says,  is  closely  connected  with 
Christianity.  Is  not  the  first  and  great  commandment  of  the 
Gospel  to  love  our  fellow-men  and  aid  those  who  suffer? 
Should  we  not  sacrifice  everything  in  order  to  fulfil  it  ?  But  how 
is  this  duty,  which  Christ  imposes  upon  us  in  such  pressing  and 
even  menacing  language,  to  be  performed?  Experience  has 
shown  that  it  cannot  be  done  by  alms  alone ;  and,  inasmuch 
as  economic  laws  always  reduce  wages  to  an  insufficient  mini- 
mum, the  end  can  only  be  attained  by  putting  the  labourer  in 
the  way  of  bettering  his  condition  by  the  utilization  of  capital 
belonging  to  him. 

"  May  God  in  His  goodness,"  cries  Von  Ketteler,  "  bring  all 
good  Catholics  to  adopt  this  idea  of  co-operative  associations 
of  production,  upon  the  basis  of  Christianity  !  Thus  alone  can 
salvation  be  brought  to  the  labouring  classes.  The  freedom 
promised  by  Liberalism  is  like  Dead  Sea  fruit,  fair  on  the  out- 
sideBut  diTst  and  ashes  within.  Liberalism  proclaims  freedom , 
of  contract ;  but  for  the  labourer  without  capital,  it  is  merely 
freedom  to  die  of  hunger ;  for  how  can  he  live,  if  he  does  not 
accept  whatever  conditions  may  be  imposed  upon  him  ?  Free- 
dom to  go  where  he  likes,  Fi'eiziigigkeit,  is  another  meaningless 
phrase ;  for  is  not  the  working  man  who  has  a  wife  and 
children  tied  to  the  spot  where  he  is  settled  ?  How  can  he 
seek  employment  elsewhere,  when  he  lacks  the  means  of 
satisfying  his  first  needs  ?  Freedom  of  labour ;  what  is  it, 
except  the  competition  of  labourers  reducing  their  wages  to  the 
lowest  point?  Freejrade_^;  what  other  result  has  it  except  to 
ena|)le  the  rich  to  buy  what  they  want  in  the  cheapest  market, 
and  tbreduce  the  working  man  to  tlie  level  of  those  who  can 
substst  upon  the  least?  Christianity,  practically  applied,  can 
alone  bring  it  about  that  these  liberties,  of  which  capitalists 
now  "reap  the  entire  profit,   may  also  benefit  the  laboureirs. 


128  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Catholic  charity  has  already  established  countless  institutions 
of  every  kind  :  convents,  schools,  refuges,  hospitals,  succour 
for  all  needs  and  all  infirmities  !  To-day  it  is  the  labourers 
to  whom  aid  must  come.  This  is  the  special  mission  of 
Catholicism." 
,  Monseigneur  von  Ketteler  ends  his  book  with  the  most 
1  earnest  appeals  to  the  rich  manufacturers  and  nobility.  "  For- 
I  merly  it  was  the  nobility  who  enriched  the  Church  and  the 
monasteries.  Nothing  now  could  be  more  pleasing  to  God 
and  more  conformable  to  the  spirit  of  Christianity,  than  to 
constitute  an  association  which  should  have  for  its  object  the 
founding  of  co-operative  societies  of  production  in  those  dis- 
tricts where  the  condition  of  the  labourers  is  the  worst."  It  is 
evident  that  the  Bishop  of  Mayence  believed,  with  Lassalle, 
that  to  insure  the  success  of  co-operative  societies,  it  was  suffi- 
cient to  advance  them  funds.  Like  Prince  Bismarck,  who  has 
lately  acknowledged  it  in  the  tribune  of  the  German  Parlia- 
ment, Von  Ketteler  had  been  completely  gained  over  to  this 
idea  by  the  brilliant  Socialist,  "one  of  the  most  intelligent  and 
most  charming  men  I  ever  met,"  added  the  Chancellor,  who 
still  has  faith  in  co-operative  societies.  In  a  former  chapter, 
when  discussing  the  plans  of  reform  of  this  seductive  agitator, 
I  pointed  out  the  difficulties  which  this  kind  of  association  has 
to  encounter.  The  French  labourers  described  them  accurately 
in  their  Congress  in  Paris  in  1876. 

Such  elevated  thoughts,  uttered  by  so  eminent  a  prelate, 
and  moreover  developed  with  undeniable  eloquence,  were 
bound  to  produce  a  profound  impression  upon  the  German 
Catholic  clergy.  Christian  charity,  no  doubt,  prompted  them 
to  receive  the  new  doctrine  kindly ;  but  as  they  soon  preached 
it  to  the  electors  of  universal  suffrage,  it  may  well  be  thought 
that  they  saw  in  it  the  means  of  gaining  allies  among  the 
labourers  in  their  struggle  against  the  government.  The 
Kulturkampf  and  the  May  laws  having  driven  the  clergy  to 
extremity,  they  did  not  hesitate  to  hold  out  a  hand  to  the 
Socialists.  An  entire  programme  of  Catholico-Socialist  reforms 
was  elaborated.  A  canon  of  the  cathedral  of  Mayence,  a 
learned     priest    and    a    clever    orator,    the    Dom    capiUtlar 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 29 

Moufang,  explained  it  at  an  electoral  meeting,  on  the  27th  of 
February,  1871.  His  address  is  a  regular  exposition  of  econo- 
mico-religious  principles,  and  as  it  is  the  creed  of  the  party,  it 
is  important  to  study  it  in  some  detail. 

Canon  Moufang  starts  from  the  facts  which  he  looks  upon 
as  proved  by  his  bishop.  The  wages  of  the  labourers  are  in- 
sufficient, and  their  condition  is  not  such  as  either  humanity  or 
Christianity  requires  that  it  should  be.  The  evil  comes  from 
the  application  of  Ricardo's  "  iron  law."  "  Self-help  "  is  power- 
less^To'femedy  it,  and  even  Catholic  charity  does  not  suffice 
for  tBe  gigantic  task.  The  State  must  therefore  intervene.. 
But  how  can  the  State  cure  evils  which  appear  to  result  from 
the  laws  of  economy  ?  The  canon  does  not  hesitate  to  name 
four  ways  :  by  the  protection  of  the  law,  by  pecuniary  aid,  by 
the  reduction  of  fiscal  and  military  charges,  and  finally  and 
above  all  by  limiting  the  tyranny  of  capital.  Canon  Moufang  • 
explains  each  of  these  points,  which,  at  first  sight,  do  not  fail 
to    puzzle    and   even    somewhat   to   disturb    Economists,   as 

follows  : — 

(i)  The  State  is  not  to  organize  labour  by  means  of  a 
general  law.  It  is  for  the  labourers  themselves  to  form  asso- 
ciations, to  draw  up  regulations  and  a  constitution  of  labour  in 
every  trade  and  every  industry.  The  State  should  then  in- 
tervene to  give  these  regulations  the  force  of  law,  as  in  the 
Middle  Ages. 

The  mission  of  the  State  is  to  guarantee  the  rights  of 
every  one.  It  protects  landed  property.  By  means  of  mort- 
gage-offices, it  gives  full  security  to  creditors.  By  means  of 
commercial  tribunals,  it  enables  suits  arising  from  commerce 
to  be  quickly  decided.  In  like  manner  it  should  protect  the 
property  of  the  labourer  which  consists  of  his  laboun  It  must 
proFect  the  strength  and  time  of  the  working  man  {Arbeitski-aft 
und  Arbeitszeit)  against  the  injustice  of  the  "  iron  law,"  which, 
after  using  up  his  muscles,  abandons  him  when  he  is  old  and 
decrepid  upon  the  bed  of  poverty.  The  length  of  the  working 
day'should  be  regulated  by  the  State,  and  all  work  forbidden 
on  Sundays.  Man  is  not  a  machine.  He  is  made  in  the 
image  of  God,  whom  he  should  learn  to  know  and  to  serve ; 

K 


130  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

hence  some  leisure  hours  are  needful  to  him.  They  are  granted 
even  to  the  beasts  of  burden.  Rest  on  Sunday  is  demanded  by 
the  laws  of  hygiene  no  less  than  by  Divine  law. 

The  State  should  fix  the  rate  of  wages.  This,  it  is  objected, 
is  to  interfere  with  freedom  of  contract ;  but  freedom  of  coii- 
tract  must  not  be  allowed  to  go  the  length  of  threatening  the 
labourer's  very  means  of  subsistence.  True,  the  laws  of  supply 
and  demand  settle  the  price  of  commodities  ;  but  the  labourer's 
skill  in  work,  his  Ai-beitskraft,  is  not  a  commodity  ;  it  is  his 
very  life,  his  whole  being.  A  protection,  as  efficacious  as  that 
granted  to  the  fundholder,  who  regularly  receives  his  quarterly 
interest,  is  here  imperatively  required. 

The  master  says  :  "  Trade  is  stagnant ;  in  order  to  sell 
I  must  lower  my  prices,  therefore  I  reduce  wages  ; "  and  he 
offers  such  as  are  insufficient  to  live  upon.  What  can  an 
isolated  working  man  do  ?  Die  of  hunger  or  beg  for  alms. 
These  ultimate  extremities  are  contrary  to  all  sentiments  of 
justice  and  humanity.  The  State  should  put  a  stop  to  the 
system  which  allows  them. 

In  developing  these  ideas,  the  canon  finds  language  worthy 
of  the  Christian  Fathers.  But  he  omits  to  say  how  the  State 
is  to  force  the  manufacturer  to  pay  wages  which  wall  leave  him 
the  loser,  or  how  markets  are  to  be  opened  for  him  when  his 
goods  encumber  his  storehouses.  The  only  means  is  to  force 
consumers  to  pay  a  remunerative  price  to  manufacturers.  But 
suppose  the  consumers  are  as  pinched  for  money  as  the  others  ? 
Then  it  can  only  be  said  it  is  the  fault  of  society. 

The  labour  of  women  and  children  should  be  forbidden  by 
law.  It  is  supposed  to  increase  the  resources  of  the  family — 
labourers  themselves  think  so — but  this  is  an  error.  A  certain 
number  of  hours  of  labour  is  needful  for  a  certain  result.  "If 
they  are  not  performed  by  women  and  children,  men  will  per- 
form them,  and  higher  wages  will  be  obtained,  which  will  be 
divided  just  the  same  among  the  labourers.  According  to  the 
i  laws  of  nature,  which  have  been  sanctified  by  Christianity, 
the  man  should  earn  by  his  labour  the  daily  bread  of  his 
family,  and  the  woman  should  take  care  of  the  home  and  bring 
up  the  cliildren.     To  send  women  and  young  girls  into  the 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS. 


131 


midst  of  the  immoral  surroundings  of  the  factory,  is  to  destroy 
the  Christian  family. 

The  union  of  all  these  measures  should  constitute  the 
"  Labour  Code,"  just  as  there  is  a  commercial  code,  a 
maritime  code,  and  a  civil  code.  It  should  regulate  the 
relations  between  apprentices  and  masters,  manufacturers 
and  workmen.  The  existing  anarchy  would  then  cease.  A 
social  order,  not  exactly  identical  with  that  which  formerly 
existed,  but  based  on  the  same  principles,  would  be  re- 
established. Is  it  to  be  wondered  at,  adds  the  orator,  that 
the  demands  of  the  people  are  sometimes  unreasonable,  agd 
their  accusations  often  too  violent,  when  we  reflect  that  nothing 
whatever  is  done  for  them  ? 

(2)  Like  Lassalle,  Canon  Moufang  demands  that  the  State 
should  advance  money  to  working  men's  societies.  When  rich 
capitalists  make  a  railway,  the  State  often  guarantees  them 
interest  or  subsidizes  the  undertaking.  Why  should  it  not 
give  the  same  advantages  to  working  men  ?  They  have  even 
a  better  claim  ;  for,  with  them,  it  is  not  a  question  of  aggran- 
dizement, but  of  life.  "  I  am  no  partisan  of  M.  Louis  Blanc's 
■workshops,"  said  Herr  Moufang,  "but  when  a  sound  associa- 
tion of  working  men  is  in  need  of  aid,  I  cannot  see  why  the 
State  should  refuse  to  grant  it.  What  is  equitable  for  the 
rich  is  equitable  for  the  poor  also."  The  Canon  of  Mayence 
cathedral  omits  to  mention  in  what  respect  his  associations 
differ  from  those  of  M.  Louis  Blanc.  The  difference  probably 
consists  in  the  fact  that  the  associations  proposed  by  the  canon 
would  be  founded  on  a  ground-work  of  Catholic  principles,  ad 
viajoram  Dei  gloriajn. 

(3)  The  State  ought  to  reduce  the  taxes  and  military 
burdens  which  weigh  so  heavily  upon  the  laBoufen  The 
independent  gentleman,  with  thousands  in  his  purse,  pays 
hardly  any  taxes,  while  the  worker,  who  has  only  his  scanty 
wage,  sees  it  still  furdier  reduced  by  direct  and  indirect 
taxation,  to  say  nothing  of  the  fact  that  the  best  years  of  his 
life  are  taken  for  service  in  the  army.  Distributive  justice  calls 
for  radical  reforms  on  this  point.  Militarism^  is  the  curse  of 
Germany.  _^^ 


liiMA'-^ 


132  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

(4)  Finally,  the  State  ought  to  place  restrictions  on  the 
tyranny  of  capital.  I  attack  neither  wealth  nor  the  wealthy, 
says  the  canon,  for  Holy  Scripture  says  wealth  and  poverty 
come  from  God ;  but  what  I  condemn  is  the  methods  by 
which  these  owners  of  thousands  and  millions  enrich  them- 
selves to-day.  Whence  come  these  tens  of  thousands  so 
rapidly  acquired  by  those  who  toil  not  ?  They  are  deducted 
from  the  produce  of  the  labour  of  the  workers,  who  have  to 
pay  the  incomes  of  these  huge  fortunes  obtained  originally  by 
gambling  on  the  Stock  Exchange  or  by  dishonest  speculations. 
In  thus  speaking,  Canon  Moufang  was  plainly  inspired  and 
embittered  by  reminiscences  of  the  Schwindeljahre,  the  years 
of  mad  speculation  which  followed  1871  ;  but  in  this  case,  too, 
it  would  have  been  well  if  he  had  not  confined  himself  to 
eloquent  tirades  against  "the  tyranny  of  capital,"  but  had 
indicated  the  means  of  putting  an  end  to  these  iniquities. 

Such  is  the  programme  of  the  reforms  which  the  Canon  of 
Mayence  calls  for  from  the  State.  It  hardly  differs  from  that 
formulated  by  the  Socialists,  except  that  Herr  Moufang  more 
often  invokes  the  Holy  Scriptures.  He  is  quite  right  to  praise 
the  Christian  ideal.  But  what  is  to  be  done  if  the  co-operative 
societies  consume  the  capital  advanced  to  them,  and  if  the 
manufacturers  cease  producing  when  they  are  unable  to  meet 
the  wages  imposed  ?  The  reforming  canon  does  not  concern 
himself  with  these  details. 

A  paper  founded  under  the  inspiration  of  Herr  Moufang, 
Die  Christlich-sociale  Blaetter,  has  developed  this  programme 
more  exclusively  on  the  economical  side.  Like  the  Socialists, 
\  it  vehemently  attacks  the  Political  Economy  of  the  Manchester 
I  School,  Das  Majichesterthum.  We  must  have  done  with  these 
economical  theories,  says  the  Catholic  journal,  which  exercise 
so  grievous  an  influence  on  the  public  and  private  life  of  our 
times.  These  "  Manchestrists  "  classify  labour,  the  principal 
factor  of  civilization,  under  the  same  head  as  the  natural 
agents.  According  to  them,  it  is  only  a  manifestation  of  the 
powers  inherent  in  matter,  like  the  attraction  or  gravitation  of 
bodies.  They  speak  of  the  laws  which  regulate  the  production 
and  the  distribution  of  wealth  in  the  same  way  as  of  the  neces- 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 33 

sary  laws  which  determine  the  sequence  of  natural  phenomena. 
'nTe~consequence  is  that  it  is  impossible  to  apply  the  notion  of 
ju'stice  and  right  to  the  relations  of  capital  and  labour.  These 
relations  are,  they  say,  regulated  by  the  fatal  law  of  supply  and 
demand  which  it  is  vain  to  seek  to  modify.  What  would  be 
the  good  of  invoking  an  alleged  right  which  it  is  absolutely 
impossible  to  apply  ?  Labour  is  a  commodity,  the  price  of 
which  is  fixed  in  the  same  way  as  that  of  all  other  commodities, 
by  the  free  bargaining  of  the  two  parties.  Christianity  or 
Catholicism  have  no  more  business  here  than  if  it  was  a 
question  of  physics  or  astronomy.  This  is  the  way  in  which 
Liberal  economics  come  to  deny  any  rights  to  the  workers. 

The  Catholico- Socialist  print  further  accuses  Economists  of 
having  completely  misunderstood  the  principle  of  property  in 
deriving  it  from  labour.  Property,  it  asserts,  is  a  principle 
{moment)  which  is  subordinate  to  labour  neither  in  its  origin 
nor  in  its  importance.  Liberalism  has,  then,  falsified  all  the 
bases  of  a  true  civilization,  labour,  property,  liberty,  right,  and 
justice.  The  influence  of  this  pernicious  doctrine  must  be 
broken  and  annihilated.  It  leads  to  revolution.  The  first 
thing  to  do  is  to  re-establish  the  corporations,  to  regulate 
industry,  to  fix  wages  by  law,  while  creating  a  special  magis- 
tracy to  enforce  the  articles  of  the  "  Labour  Code  "  {Arbeits- 
recht). 

It  is  easy  to  understand  the  success  which  doctrines  of  this 
sort  must  have  met  with  among  that  portion  of  the  labouring 
class  which  was  not  yet  completely  won  over  to  the  anti- 
religious  and  atheistic  movement  preached  by  the  democratic 
agitators.  They  were  simply  the  ideas  of  Marx  and  Lassalle, 
invested  with  a  slight  Catholic  varnish,  and  connected,  by  a 
few  quotations,  with  the  teachings  of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church. 
By  attacking  Liberalism,  Political  Economy,  and  the  industrial  , 
system,  the  Ultramontanes,  disguised  as  Socialists  or  sincerely  ' 
converted  to  Socialism,  gained  the  adhesion  of  two  very 
numerous  classes  that  the  Social  Democrats  were  unable  to 
reach.  In  the  first  place,  they  won  over  the  rural  proprietors, 
aii3  especially  the  petty  aristocracy  of  the  country  districts, 
"  the  squireens,"    who,  not  sharing  in  the  growing  wealth  of 


\ 


134  ^-^■5'  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  large  towns,  saw,  with  bitter  jealousy,  influence  and  money 
passing  to  the  large  manufacturers,  bankers,  shareholders,  pro- 
moters of  joint-stock  companies,  and  all  those  Stock  Exchange 
speculators  who  thenceforth,  throughout  "  industrialized  " 
Germany,  began  to  take  the  lead.  The  denunciation  of  the 
abuses  of  capital  was  much  to  the  taste  of  this  party  of 
"  rurals,"  who  thus  imbibed  a  sort  of  reactionary  and  feudal 
Socialism.  According  to  them,  not  a  line  that  Marx  had 
written  against  capital  was  too  violent.  Of  course,  this 
"Agrarian"  party  had  no  idea  of  an  Agrarian  law,  unless 
it  could  be  applied  exclusively  to  the  funds  of  the  Stock 
Exchange  and  to  the  Jews,  whom  they  especially  detested. 
The  second  stratum  of  adherents  to  which  the  Ultramontane 
ChristUch-socialen  penetrated  was  composed  of  the  Catholic 
peasantry.  The  generals  of  the  Kulturkampfy  who  persecuted 
the  priests  and  the  beliefs  of  the  peasants,  \vere  Liberals  and 
Economists.  The  Catholic  country  folk  were  therefore  pleased 
to  see  Liberalism  and  Political  Economy  attacked.  They  found 
the  burdens  of  taxation  and  military  service  overwhelming, 
and  Canon  Moufang  had  inscribed  in  his  programme  that 
they  must  be  largely  reduced.  As  to  the  "iron  law"  and 
Ricardo,  they  probably  accepted  their  bishop's  teaching  on 
trust. 

We  shall  now  proceed  to  show  that  the  words  of  Canon 
Moufang  and  Bishop  Ketteler  have  not  fallen  upon  stony 
places,  but,  like  the  seed  that  fell  on  good  ground,  they  have 
brought  forth  fruit  an  hundred-fold.  We  shall  principally 
follow  the  information  collected  with  extreme  care  in  a  book, 
replete  with  facts,  by  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer,  "The  Struggle  for 
the  Emancipation  of  the  Fourth  Estate."  * 

The  first  reunion  of  the  Ultramontane  Socialist,  or — as 
they  used  to  call  themselves^ — Christian  Social  ( Christlich- 
sociale)  clubs,  took  place  at  Crefeld,  in  June,  1868.  Only 
three  clubs  were  represented.  They  adopted  as  then-  organ 
a  journal  edited  with  considerable  skill  by  Herr  Schings,  a 
clergyman  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  Die  Christlich-sociale  Blaetter. 
By  the  next  year  the  number  of  clubs  had  considerably 
*  Dcr  Emancipationskampf  des  Vierten  Standes. 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 35 

increased.  In  the  general  assembly,  which  took  place  on  the 
9th  of  September,  1869,  it  was  decided  to  form  a  special 
committee  for  the  purpose  of  founding  Christian  Social  clubs, 
having  for  their  object  "  the  moral  and  economical  improve- 
ment of  the  working  classes."  This  committee  was  composed 
of  Herr  Gronheid,  a  vicar  of  Munster,  Professor  Schulze  of 
Paderborn,  and  Baron  von  Schorlemer-Alst,  one  of  the  most 
influential  leaders  of  "the  centre" — i.e.,  the  Ultramontane 
party — in  the  German  Parliament.  In  the  first  manifesto  of 
this  committee  it  placed  itself  under  the  patronage  of  the 
Conference  of  the  Catholic  Bishops  of  Germany  which  was 
held  at  Fulda,  in  this  very  month  of  September,  and  which 
had  specially  occupied  itself  with  the  social  question. 

The  report  presented  by  one  of  the  bishops  at  the  con- 
ference of  Fulda  defined  the  attitude  to  be  taken  by  the 
clergy  on  this  question.  Doubtless,  it  said,  the  clergy  cannot 
directly  and  officially  engage  in  the  foundation  of  working  men's 
associations ;  but  it  is  the  duty  of  the  Church  to  awaken  the 
sympathy  of  the  ecclesiastical  body  for  the  labouring  classes. 
The  clergy  are  too  often  indifferent,  because  they  are  not 
aware  of  the  imminence  and  gravity  of  the  danger  to  which 
social  sufferings  give  rise.  They  do  not  appreciate  the  full 
importance  of  the  social  question,  nor  do  they  see  clearly  the 
remedies.  In  the  training  given  to  members  of  the  clergy,  in 
philosophy,^  and  in  matters  touching  their  pastoral  mission,  the 
labour  question  must  no  longer  be  omitted.  It  is  highly 
desirable  that  some  ecclesiastics  should  devote  themselves 
specially  to  the  study  of  Political  Economy.  It  would  be  well 
to  give  them  travelling  funds,  in  order  to  enable  them  to  study, 
on  the  spot,  the  wants  of  foreign  labourers,  and  the  means 
employed  to  provide  for  them.  They  ought,  above  all,  with 
this  object  in  view,  to  visit  France,  where,  it  would  appear,  the 
scope  of  the  religious  and  moral  "  moment "  is  better  under- 
stood than  elsewhere.  Certain  Economists  affirm  that  there  is  (  I 
no  social  question;  but  the  bishops  hold  other  language"  1 1 
Most  assuredly  there  is  a  social  question,  they  say,  and  a  very'^ 
serious  one ;  our  priests  must  study  it,  and  make  it  the  means 
of  extending  the  influence  of  their  ministry.     Is  it  necessary 


136  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

to  ask  whether  the  bishops  or  the  economists  will  exercise  the 
greater  influence  over  the  people  ? 

The  Christlich-sociale  Blaetter  soon  published  the  principles 
which  were  to  preside  over  the  organization  of  the  Catholic 
Social  Associations.  These  statutes  are  in  several  respects 
worthy  of  attention.  No  member  of  these  associations  can 
/belong  at  the  same  time  to  a  Social  Democratic  cFub.  Every 
Christian  Social  Association  must  cleave  closely  to  the  Church' : 
extra  Ecclesiam  nulla  salus.  It  should  place  itself  under  the 
patronage  of  St.  Joseph,  and  should  celebrate  the  anniversary 
of  its  foundation  with  religious  festivals.  A  priest  ought  not 
to  be  selected  as  president,  but  some  sound  person  who  has 
the  full  confidence  of  the  clergy.  Persons  of  property,  and 
even  employers  of  labour,  may  be  appointed  honorary  mem- 
bers, but  must  not  have  any  voice  in  the  management  of  the 
association.  Even  the  appearance  of  being  "  taken  in  tow  by 
capital "  {im  schlepptau  des  Kapitals)  must  be  carefully  aVoided. 
Coalitions  and  strikes  should  not  be  absolutely  condemned, 
for  that  would  involve  the  loss  of  all  influence  over  the  working 
men.  Moreover,  in  the  existing  industrial  system,  working 
men  have  no  other  means  of  defending  themselves  and  of 
making  their  rights  respected.  It  is  best  to  exclude  politics, 
except  when  the  interests  of  the  Church  are  at  stake,  when  the 
associations  should  throw  themselves  into  the  contest  with  all 
their  strength.  Meetings  should  be  convened  on  Sundays,  for 
the  discussion  of  all  matters  concerning  the  social  question. 
Associations  of  journeymen,  those  of  factory  operatives,  and 
those  of  rural  labourers,  form  the  three  main  branches  of  the 
grand  social  confederation,  and  between  them  a  close  alliance 
should  be  established. 

This,  as  may  be  seen,  opened  up  an  ambitious  prospect. 
The  idea  was  nothing  short  of  combining  in  one  general 
federation,  submissive  to  the  Church,  the  living  forces  of  the 
labourers  in  both  workshop  and  field  throughout  all  Germany. 
It  was  something  more  than  an  imperiufn  in  imperio ;  it.  was 
society  itself,  brigaded  and  drilled  by  ecclesiastics,  who  were 
to  be  versed  at  once  in  theology  and  political  economy. 

The  central  committee  fixed  with  great  wisdom  the  limit  of 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 3/ 

action  of  each  group.  Local  autonomy  with  unity  of  action  in 
the  interests  of  the  Church,  such  is  the  principle.  No  one  of  our 
associations,  said  the  committee,  is  to  imagine  that  it  can  bring 
a  ready-made  solution  of  the  most  difficult  problem  set  before 
the  modern  world,  or  to  presume  to  enjoin  upon  others,  as  a 
Messianic  revelation,  the  particular  organization  which  it  may 
have  thought  the  best.  Each  Christian  Social  association 
ought  to  be  allowed  full  freedom  of  action  within  the  sphere 
which  it  has  chosen  for  itself.  It  is  its  business  to  look  after 
the  wants  of  its  members  and  the  local  necessities.  To  impose 
the  same  regulations  upon  all  would  be  to  shut  out  the  future, 
and  to  cut  the  roots  of  all  independent  growth.  These  associa- 
tions will  not  be  the  instruments  which  the  Church  will  employ 
to  solve  definitely  the  difficulties  in  the  way  of  the  organization 
of  a  better  and  truly  Christian  society.  When  the  hour  shall 
have  come,  the  Head  of  Catholicism  will  himself  designate 
the  ministers  into  whose  hands  this  duty  may  be  assigned  in 
all  confidence. 

These  mystical    hopes    please   the  masses.     Moreover,  it  -i 
was  a  splendid  idea,  and  one  which  certainly  cannot  injure  the 
influence  of  the  clergy,  to  entrust  to  the  Pope  the  economic  ; 
transformation  of  society.     The  holy  father  is  here  presented  ; 
as  a  new  Messiah,  who  will  fulfil  the  promises  of  the  millennium, 
by  precipitating  into  the  abyss  Ricardo,  Malthus,  "the  iron 
law,"  Bamberger,  and  the  whole  of  Liberal  "  Manchesterdom." 

The  Catholic  Social  party  succeeded  in  gaining,  all  at 
once,  a  considerable  number  of  adherents  by  adopting  Kol- 
ping's  "  Catholic  journeyman  clubs  "  {Katholische  Gesellvereine). 
In  1847  a  well-informed  and  pious  artisan,  named  Kolping, 
had  the  idea  of  uniting  the  journeymen  in  associations,  having 
for  their  objects  the  cultivation  of  moral  and  religious  senti- 
ments, and  the  defence  of  their  interests.  Owing  to  the 
apostolate  of  "Father  {Vatej-)  Kolping,"  as  he  was  called, 
these  clubs  were  established  in  all  directions.  In_^822,  when 
the  Christian  Socialists  adopted  them,  they  numbered  upwards 
of  seventy  thousand  members.  Peasant  clubs  {Bauernvereine) 
were  soon  afterwards  formed  in  the  most  Catholic  parts,  as  in 
Bavaria  and  Westphalia.     Their  objects  were  to  defend  the 


138 


THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


rights  of  the  country  folk  and  to  obtain  a  reduction  of  military 
service  and  of  the  taxes  that  burdened  the  land.  Among  the 
resolutions  passed  at  the  general  assembly  of  the  peasant 
clubs  of  Bavaria,  held  at  Deggendorf,  in  October,  187 1,  maj 
be  found  the  following  passage  :  "  We  detest  with  all  our  soul 
the  military  system  which  is  looked  upon  as  the  principal  thing 
for  which  all  else  should  be  sacrificed.  It  absorbs  the  livinaf 
forces  of  labour,  even  when  they  are  most  indispensable  for 
production,  as  at  harvest-time.  Yet  the  army  exists  for  the 
, .,  nation,  and  not  the  nation  for  the  army,  just  in  the  same  way 

,     .  ^         I  as  the  government  for  the  people,  and  not  the  people  for  the 

,,..A  i\,      I f  government." 

In  the  general  assembly  of  Christian  Social  Associations, 
held  at  Essen,  on  the  29th  June,  1870,  Herr  Witte,  one  of  the 
delegates,  thus  enumerates  the  forces  at  their  disposal :  "  Fif- 
teen thousand  Catholic  peasants  are  already  federated  in 
Bavaria.  Fifteen  thousand  farms  form  a  solid  basis  of  opera- 
tions from  which  to  obtain  possession  of  the  country  districts. 
We  shall  soon  have  as  many,  or  even  more,  in  Westphalia  and 
in  the  Rhine  country.  A  hundred  thousand  master-workmen 
range  themselves  under  our  flag,  and  eighty  thousand  gallant 
journeymen  of  the  Kolpings-Vereine  offer  us  their  services. 
Our  societies  will  soon  count  their  members  by  hundreds  of 
thousands.  We  have  already  a  goodly  army,  and  it  is  only  the 
commencement.  Thirty  thousand  German  priests  have  just 
put  their  hands  to  the  work.     I  foresee  a  brilliant  future." 

AU  this  army,  of  w'hich  the  orator  spoke,  was  sent  forth  to 
the  ballot  by  the  clergy,  and  at  the  elections  by  universal 
suffrage  for  the  Imperial  Parliament,  in  1870,  it  gained  more 
than  one  victory.  Thus,  at  Elberfeld,  it  beat  the  Social 
Democrats,  although  the  latter  were  on  their  own  ground.  In 
,1871  a  ministerial  rescript  pronounced  the  dissolution  of  the 
peasant  clubs  of  Westphaha,  as  constituting  illegal  political 
associations.  They  were,  however,  immediately  reconstituted 
under  the  name  of  "  Union  of  Westphalian  Peasants  "  ( West- 
falische  Bauertiverein),  and,  under  the  presidency  of  that  mem- 
ber of  the  Ultramontane  Centre  whom  we  have  already  men- 
tioned, Baron  von  Schorlemer-Alst,  the  number  of  members 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  1 39 

rapidly  increased.     It  was  the  declaration  of  war  against  the 
"  laws  of  May  "  and  the  policy  of  Prince  Bismarck. 

The  Bishop  of  Mayence  did  not  abandon  his  work.     He 
urged  his  clergy  to   study  unremittingly  the  social   question. 
In  187 1  he  sent  a  monitorial  circular  to  all  the  priests  of  his 
diocese,  directing  them  to  prepare  exact  statistics  as  to  the 
condition  of  the  working  men  of  their  respective  parishes.     In 
the  general  assembly  of  German  Catholics  which  was  held  at 
Mayence,  in  September,  187 1,  under  the  inspiration  of  Mon- 
seigneur  von  Ketteler,  the  labour  question  was  considered  at 
length.     The  following  are  some  of  the  resolutions  passed  on 
the  subject : — It   is  necessary  to    determine,  by   means  of  a 
committee  of  inquiry  composed  of  workmen  and  employers, 
the  exact  moral  and  material  condition  of  the  labouring  classes, 
in  order  that  the  legislature  may  be  able  to  enact  a  code  of 
labour  [Arbeitsrecht).     Landed  property,  trade,  and  commerce 
enjoy  juridical  protection,  and  yet  the  rights  of  labour  are  not 
recognized,    although  labourers  form  ninety   per  cent,  of  the 
population.     The  assembly  urgently  calls  for  the  establishment 
of  Christian   Social  Associations  for  master-workmen,  factory 
hands,  young  men,  women,  and  young  girls,  and  it  reminds  the 
well-to-do  classes  that  it  is  their  bounden  duty  to  come  liberally 
in  aid  of  these  institutions.    The  assembly  deplores  the  condition  |  j 
of  labourers'  dwellings,  which  are  a  scandal  for  a  Christian  |1| 
country,  and  it  insists  energetically  that  societies  should  bejl 
formed  for  the  erection  of  healthy  and  cheap  habitations.     A 
proposition  censuring  strikes  was  rejected  by  a  large  majority. 

The  foregoing  account  will  suffice  to  show  the  spirit  that 
animates  the  Catholic  Socialist  movement.  The  work  com- 
menced by  Monseigneur  von  Ketteler  has  made  considerable 
progress  in  these  last  few  years.  The  clergy  have  everywhere 
devoted  themselves  to  it  with  ardour,  because  it  affords  a  means 
of  gaining  adherents,  in  the  struggles  of  the  Kiilturkampf,  to  the 
profit  of  the  Church  and  against  the  government.  Among 
those  who  march  in  the  first  rank,  may  be  mentioned,  at  the 
head  Herr  Schings,  a  rector,  and  Herr  Kronenberg,  a  vicar,  at 
Aix-la-Chapelle;  Herr  Laaf,  vicar  at  Essen;  and  Herr  E.  Klein, 
the  Dom-capitular  of  Paderborn.     Their  efforts  tended  to  bring 


I40  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  party  nearer  and  nearer  to  the  Social  Democrats.  For  the 
purpose  of  marching  together  to  the  poll,  the  two  parties  would 
come  to  an  understanding;  but  when  it  was  a  question  of 
organizing  societies,  the  conflict  of  principle  inevitably  arose. 
Thus,  in  February,  1878,  a  general  meeting  of  delegates  from 
the  miners'  associations  was  held  at  Essen.  The  formation  of 
a  vast  federation,  which  was  to  unite  the  miners  of  all  Germany, 
was  under  discussion.  An  oratorical  combat  of  the  most  lively 
kind  soon  began  between  the  vicar  Laaf  and  the  Socialist 
agitator  Herr  Hasselmann,  whose  burning  words  and  incisive 
manner  are  always  enthusiastically  received  at  meetings  of 
working  men.  "  Since  you  have  taken  the  '  Destruction  of 
Christianity  '  for  your  watchword  at  Berlin,"  said  the  vicar  Laaf^ 
"  we  can  no  longer  act  with  you."  Herr  Hasselmann  replied 
by  citing  the  example  of  Monseigneur  von  Ketteler,  who  had 
acted  in  a  very  friendly  way  towards  an  association  of  working 
men  in  the  cigar  trade,  though  founded  by  the  Social  Democrat 
Fritsche.*  The  following  day  Herr  Hasselmann's  paper,  Die 
Volksstimme,  declared  tliat  the  miners  had  got  the  scent  of  the 
tricks  of  these  intriguers  in  the  black  robe,  and  that  they  would 
not  stand  any  "  Chaplainocracy."  On  their  side,  the  Catholic 
Socialist  journals  of  the  province,  the  Tremonia  of  Dortmund^ 
the  Essener  Blaetter,  the  Essener  Volkszeitung,  the  Rheinisch- 
Westfalischer  Volksfreund,  fired  all  their  artillery  on  the  Social 
Democrats.  The  two  parties  disputed  the  balance  of  electoral 
power  held  in  this  district  by  the  working  men,  who  were 
employed  in  large  numbers  in  the  coal-mines  and  iron-works 
there.  "  Miners,  follow  not  the  flag  of  the  Democrats," 
exclaimed  the  Christlich-socialeji  in  chorus  ;  "  it  will  lead  you  to 
your  ruin.  Range  yourselves  in  a  body  under  the  banner  of 
the  Cross.     Therein  lies  salvation." 

We  have  sketched  the  main  features  of  this  debate,  because 

*  This  Herr  Fritsche  has  been  elected  a  deputy.  It  was  on  his  testi- 
mony that  Herr  Bebel  relied,  in  a  debate  in  the  German  Parliament,  when 
spealving  of  the  advances  made  by  Prince  Bismarck  to  the  Socialist  party. 
"  I  have  not  the  honour  of  knowing  Herr  Fritsche,"  replied  the  Chancellor. 
"  But  he  is  a  deputy,"  several  members  exclaimed,  amid  shouts  of  laughter. 
"  Ifhe  is  a  deputy,"  continued  Prince  Bismarck,  "he  is  incapable  of  telling 
an  untruth,  and  I  adjure  him  to  prove  that  he  has  had  any  relations  with 
me." 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  I4I 

it  depicts  the  situation.  A  real  understanding  is  impossible 
between  the  Social  Democrats,  who  preach  atheism  with  a  view 
to  upsetting  the  throne,  the  Church,  and  all  established 
authority,  and  the  Ultramontane  Socialists,  who  desire  to 
strengthen  authority  with  a  view  to  concentrating  it  in  the 
hands  of  the  bishops  and  the  Pope.  But  both  parties  address 
themselves  to  the  working  men,  tell  them  their  grievances, 
propose  remedies  for  the  ills  from  which  they  suffer,  and  put  the 
responsibility  for  all  their  wrongs  upon  the  shoulders  of  the 
Liberal  middle  classes,  "who  exploit  the  people  without  pity  or 
mercy."  They  are  thus  found  together  in  opposition  and  give 
their  votes  for  each  other. 

The  associations  created  under  the  influence  of  Catholic  i 
Socialism  are  veritably  innumerable,  without,  of  course,  counting  I ; 
convents,  which  are  their  ideal  type.  Dr.  Rudolf  Meyer  haslj 
taken  a  great  deal  of  trouble  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining,  not 
full  statistics,  but  merely  an  enumeration  of  their  different 
species,  and  he  avows  that  he  has  found  it  impossible  to  draw 
up  a  complete  list.  Nevertheless,  his  classification,  as  it 
stands,  is  of  considerable  length.  It  embraces  the  following 
institutions  : — ^Catholic  journeyman  associations  {Kathoiische  , 
Gesellenvereine)  after  Kolping's  model.  They  count  more  than 
eighty  thousand  members,  and  exist  in  almost  all  Catholic 
towns.  Their  meetings  take  place  on  Sundays,  and  aim  at 
intellectual  and  moral  culture.  They  sometimes  include 
savings  banks,  and,  at  Berlin,  they  have  founded  an  academy 
for  the  cultivation  of  taste  in  artistic  manufactures. — Catholic 
apprentice  associations.  They  are  connected  with  those  of  the 
journeymen.  They  have  usually  schools  on  Sundays  ;  that  of 
Cologne,  for  example,  having  more  than  six  hundred  pupils. 
— Catholic  associations  of  master-workmen.  For  the  purpose 
of  keeping  up  good  feeling,  these  are  pledged  to  take  the 
sacrament  together  at  least  once  a  month. — Catholic  associa- 
tions of  factory  girls,  under  the  patronage  of  St.  Paul. — Catholic 
associations  of  mining  operatives.  These  are  very  numerous 
in  the  coal-basin  of  the  Roer.  They  usually  possess  a  mutual 
aid  fund.  Meetings  take  place  for  the  discussion  of  their 
interests.     The  object  is  the  cultivation  of  religious  and  social 


142  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

sentiments. — Peasant  associations.  They  are  divided  into 
two  principal  groups  :  that  of  Bavaria,  whose  organ  is  the 
Baiieriizeitung,  and  that  of  WestphaUa,  whose  paper  is  called 
the  Westfalischer  Bauer.  The  Bavarian  group  must  count 
twenty  thousand  members.  In  the  reunion  of  the  Westphalian 
group,  held  during  the  summer  of  1878,  under  the  presidency 
of  Baron  von  Schorlemer-Alst,  the  total  of  twelve  thousand 
members  was  reached,  including  two  thousand  adhesions 
obtained  that  year. — Christian  Social  associations.  They 
receive  members  from  all  classes,  as  their  object  is  simply  to 
discuss  the  social  question  and  to  propagate  the  movement. 
They  have  spread  everywhere,  and  the  number  of  their 
members  is  very  large. — Catholic  aid-associations  for  working 
men.  They  make  loans  without  interest. — Catholic  associations 
for  maidservants  and  workwomen.  —  Catholic  savings  and 
credit  associations,  under  the  patronage  of  St.  Joseph  or  St. 
Boniface,  framed  on  the  model  of  those  of  Herr  Schulze- 
Delitzsch. — Working  men's  associations  for  production.  These 
are  not  numerous. — Associations  for  diffusing  Hterature  on  the 
social  question  from  the  Catholic  point  of  view. — Building 
societies. — Catholic  associations  for  the  wives  and  daughters  of 
working  men,  etc.,  etc.  The  whole  movement  is  represented 
by  a  great  number  of  newspapers.  The  two  best  and  most 
influential  are,  for  Northern  Germany,  the  Christlich-Sociale 
Blaetter,  published  at  Aix-la-Chapelle  under  the  management 
of  Herr  Schings;  and  for  Southern  Germany,  the  Arbeiter- 
Fretmd,  which  appears  at  Munich  under  the  direction  of  Herr 
Schimpf. 
,  If  we  enter  into  somewhat  minute  details,  it  is  to  show 

I  the  power  of  the  Catholic  Socialists.  The  strength  of  this 
1^  party  in  the  Imperial  Parliament  increases  at  each  election, 
*  and  It  "lias  become  one  of  the  principal  factors  of  German 
politics,  the  effects  of  which  are  felt  throughout  Europe.  Its 
influence  will  enable  us  to  understand  better  why  Prince 
Bismarck,  if  he  has  not  yet  "gone  to  Canossa,"  has  at  any  rate 
permitted  the  Pope's  nuncio  to  come  to  Kissingen.  The 
alliance  of  Democratic  and  Catholic  Socialism  is  evidently  the 
principal  danger  that  threatens  the  whole  work  of  the  chan" 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS. 


143 


cellor.  These  two  sections,  labouring  side  by  side,  enemies 
wHen  they  contend  for  their  cohorts  of  working  men,  but  alHes 
when  they  lead  them  to  the  poll,  are  both  rapidly  gaining 
ground.  With  the  democrats,  no  understanding  can  be 
thought  of;  their  hostility  is  absolute.  But  with  the  Catholics, 
an  accord  is  not  impossible,  by  means  of  concessions  on  both 
sides.  As  Bismarck  has  very  justly  remarked,  in  politics,  the 
do  lit  des  is  always  concealed  at  the  bottom  of  every  com- 
promise;  only  the  pohcy  of  Rome  has  never  failed  to  exact 
much  and  to  yield  very  little;  while  Prince  Bismarck  is  not 
in  the  habit  of  treating  on  this  footing. 

It  is  difficult  to  utter  an  impartial  judgment  on  this  extra- 
ordinary movement  that  we  have  endeavoured  to  describe. 
It  would,  I  beheve,  be  unjust  to  assert  that  the  commiseration 
for  the  lot  of  the  labourers  and  the  socialistic  ideas  expressed 
by  the  clergy  are  only  a  comedy  enacted  with  the  object  of 
gaining  power.  A  charitable  priest  must  be  sincerely  touched 
with  the  evils  which  the  working  classes  suffer  in  the  crowded  i 
industrial  centres.  If  he  has  read  the  Fathers  of  the  Church, 
he  will  mark  with  indignation  how  little  their  precepts  serve 
as  a  guide  amid  the  facts  of  modern  life.  With  the  ideal  of 
Christian  charity  in  his  heart,  what  must  he  think  of  the 
economic  world,  ruled,  as  it  is,  by  this  hard  law  of  competition, 
which  is  no  other  than  the  animal  struggle  for  existence? 
From  the  pulpit,  the  good  pastor  must  say  to  us,  "  Treat  thy 
brother  as  thyself"  But  the  manufacturer  replies  to  him,  "  If 
I  do  not  reduce  the  cost  of  production  and  wages  to  the  lowest 
point,  I  shall  not  be  able  to  sell  either  in  the  home  or  the 
foreign  market,  and  we  shall  all  lose  our  livelihood." 

No    doubt   Bishop    Ketteler   has  been  touched    with  the 
grace  of  Socialism  through  reading  Lassalle,  as  Prince  Bismarck 
was  by  listening  to  his  words.     But  yet,  when  we  see  the  vast 
masses  of  these  innumerable  associations  guided  and  inspired 
with  a  view  to  the  poll,  and  the  clergy  unhesitatingly  allying 
themselves    to    these     Democrats    who    have    sworn,    against    ; 
Christianitv,  a  Hannibal's  oath,  we  can  no  longer  believe  that  | 
this  whole  campaign,   so   skilfully  planned,   has  no  other  in-  1 
spiration  than  love  for  one's  neighbour  and  no  other  aim  than  ''> 


144  ^^-^  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

to  come  to  his  aid.  Clearly  the  supreme  end  is  the  triumph 
of  the  Church  ;  the  rest  is  merely  the  means.  This  is  a  great 
end,  and  for  those  who  are  persuaded  that  the  happiness  of 
societies  here  below  and  the  salvation  of  men  in  the  life  to 
come  are  bound  up  in  it,  it  is  the  greatest  of  all  ends.  We 
can  then  conceive  how  it  is  that  everything  should  be  sacrificed 
to  attain  this  end  :  nationality,  fatherland,  liberty,  political 
institutions,  economic  prosperity — all  these  secondary  good 
things  to  which  usually  so  much  value  is  attached. 

The  Apocalypse  tells  us  of  a  woman  seated  upon  a  scarlet 
coloured  beast,  and  herself  arrayed  in  a  robe  of  purple  and 
scarlet,  "having  a  golden  cup  in  her  hand  full  of  abominations 
and  filthiness  ;  and  upon  her  forehead  was  a  name  written, 
Mystery,  Babylon  the  Great,  the  Mother  of  the  abominations 
of  the  Earth."  "  And  the  woman  which  thou  sawest,"  says 
the  Apocalypse,  "  is  that  great  city,  which  reigneth  over  the 
kings  of  the  earth."  The  city  designated  in  the  Revelation  is 
evidently  Rome  ;  but,  according  to  Protestant  interpretations, 
it  was  Papal  Rome  that  was  meant.  Certain  modern  mystics 
add  a  new  interpretation.  The  woman  arrayed  in  purple  is 
the  Papacy,  which,  in  order  that  it  may  reign  over  peoples 
and  kings,  is  taking  up  Socialism  ;  and  the  scarlet  beast  on 
which  the  woman  is  seated  is  the  Red  Democracy,  which  the 
Pope  will  make  use  of  to  overcome  all  resistance. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  invoke  the  Apocalypse  in  order  to 

prove  a  plain  fact,  namely,  that  the  Church  will  not  renounce, 

L  without  a  supreme  struggle,  the  universal  domination  which 

u  it  exercised  in  old  times,  and  which  it  still  hopes  to  regain. 

'  Inasmuch  as  the   bourgeoisie,  proud  of  its   liberties,  will  not 

willingly  resign  them  into  the  hands  of  the  clergy,  the  Church 

must  draw  to  itself  the  labourers  in  field  and  factory.     How 

is  this  to  be  done?     By  speaking  to  them  of  their  ills  and 

promising  them,  as  Socialism  does,  to  apply  a  remedy  in  the 

shape  of  a  more  equitable  distribution  of  the   good    things 

of  this  world.     Nothing  can  be  more  easy  for  the  Church  : 

she  has  only  to  return  to  the  traditions  of  the  first  centuries. 

Even  in  the  Middle  Ages,  did  not  the  mendicant  monks,  all 

imbued  with  communistic  ideas,  draw  the  people  after  them 


CATHOLIC  SOCIALISTS.  I45 

in  all  parts  ?  It  seems  as  though  a  new  evolution  were  being 
prepared  under  our  e3'es  throughout  the  entire  world,  namely, 
the  alliance  of  Catholicism  and  Socialism  against  the  Liberal 
bourgeoisie,  their  common  enemy.  As  long  as  the  clergy 
retain  hopes  of  regaining  power,  they  will  stand  by  the 
principle  of  authority;  but  if  they  are  forced  to  believe  them- 
selves definitively  deprived  of  political  influence  and  menaced 
in  their  privileges,  they  will  do  as  in  Germany,  ask  arms  of 
Socialism.  What  a  strange  power  is  the  Church  !  In  its 
origin  it  was  a  levelling  and  even  communistic  democracy,  and 
now  it  presents  at  Rome  the  most  perfect  type  of  theocratic 
absolutism. 


146  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  IX. 

THE    RISE   AND    FALL   OF    THE    INTERNATIONAL. 

H.  Q.  Cf3  WT^  often  speak  of  the  International,  and  generally  with- 
V  V  out  knowing  either  its  constitution  or  its  history.  We 
fancy  that  we  see  the  hand  of  this  terrible  society  in  all  the  acts 
of  violence  of  Socialism  :  strikes,  insurrections,  incendiary  fires 
in  our  cities,  as  in  Paris ;  bombs,  as  at  Florence  and  Pisa ; 
attempts  at  regicide,  as  at  Berlin,  Naples,  Madrid,  or  St.  Peters- 
burg. It  is  the  red  spectre  everywhere  present,  everywhere 
threatening,  and  secretly  undermining  the  fabric  of  the  society 
in  which  we  live.  The  International,  however,  never  was  a 
secret  society.  Its  head-quarters  were  well  known.  Its  pro- 
clamations were  signed  and  published ;  and,  in  short,  it  is  the 
form  to  which  the  present  Socialistic  movement  must  logicajly 
come.  Is  not  everything  in  our  days  becoming  international  ? 
Have  we  not  international  exhibitions,  banks  of  international 
credit,  international  tariffs  for  the  post,  the  telegraphs,  and  the 
railways,  international  treaties  for  the  extradition  of  criminals, 
for  commercial  law,  for  certain  usages  of  war,  for  exchange, 
and  international  financial  societies  without  number  ? 

"  Internationalism  "  is  the  natural  consequence  of  the  great 

1[  process  of  assimilation  which  is  taking  place  throughout  the 
1  world.  Nations  are  becoming  more  and  more  like  each  other, 
"  and  their  mutual  relations  more  and  more  close.  The  same 
economic  and  religious  problems,  the  same  commercial  and 
industrial  crises,  the  same  class  antagonisms,  the  same  struggles 
between  capitalists  and  labourers  arise  in  all  civilized  countries, 
whether  their  form  of  government  be  republican  or  monarchical. 
The  "  solidarity"  of  nations  is  no  longer  an  empty  ghrase.     So 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 47 

real  is  it,  especially  in  economic  matters,  that  a  purely  local 
occurrence  may  have  far-reaching  results  in  both  hemispheres. 
Germany  adopts  a  gold  currency,  for  example,  and  immediately 
the  miner  in  the  Rocky  Mountains  finds  the  value  of  his  produce 
diminished ;  the  English  officer,  quartered  near  the  Himalayas, 
can  no  longer  remit  his  savings  to  London  without  suffering  an 
enormous  loss  ;  and  the  trade  of  England  with  India  and  South 
America  is  profoundly  disturbed.  Again,  the  spirit  of  enterprise 
awakes  in  America,  and  instantly,  in  spite  of  a  bad  harvest, 
European  trade  revives,  prices  mount  up,  factories,  which  had 
long  stood  idle,  recommence  work,  and  the  crisis,  which  for  five 
years  had  paralyzed  production,  gives  place  to  a  new  era  of 
activity  and  prosperity.  As  different  nations  tend  to  become 
one  single  family,  all  forms  of  social  activity  must  consequently 
take  an  international  character. 

"The  International  owed  its  origin  to  the  following  series  of 
facts  and  inferences.     Owing  to  the  cheapness  of  transport  and  \ 
the  lowering  of  custom-duties,  the  western  countries  form  only 
one  single  market,  in  which,  through  the  action  of  competition, 
prices  are  maintained  nearly  on  a  level.    Production  takes  place 
on  similar  conditions  :  the  same  processes,  the  same  machines, 
the  same  raw  materials.     It  is,  then,  only  by  reducing  the  rate  of 
wages  that  the  cost  price  can  be  diminished.    The  manufacturer  | 
is  naturally  led  to  this,  in  order  to  gain  a  foreigiT  outlet  foFTiis  \ 
goods.     But  then,  other  manufacturers,  menaced  by  the  impor-  ^ 
tation  of  foreign   merchandise,   are  obliged,  in  their  turn,  to 
lower  the  price  of  labour,  in  order  to  avoid  loss  of  custom  and 
having  to  cease  working.     In  vain  the  workmen  try  to  resist  by 
coalitions  and  strikes.     The  manufacturer  can  <presentT61them  :; 
this   incontrovertible   argument:    "If  I  do   not   reduce   your' 
wages,  one  of  two  things  will  happen  :  I  may  either  keejD  up  the 
selling-price  of  my  goods,  in  which  case  there  will  be  no  sale 
for  them,  as  my  competitors,  who  pay  lower  wages,  can  offer 
their  goods  cheaper ;    or  I  may  lower  my  prices,  and  then  I 
shall  be  selling  at  a  loss,  my  capital  will  gradually  be  eaten  up, 
and  I  shall  be  ruined  and  have  to  close  the  factory.     Where 
then  will  you  find  work?     I  am  therefore  forced,  in  spite  of 
myself,  to  reduce  wages  to  the  rate  paid  by  my  conp^Lnors." 


148  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  conclusion  to  be  drawn  from  this  reasoning  is  that  the 
working  men  of  one  country,  in  order  to  resist  a  lowering 
of  wages,  must  enter  into  an  understanding  with  those  of  other 
countries.  It  is  at  the  starting-point  of  the  reduction  that 
opposition  must  be  made,  and  if  it  takes  place  in  a  foreign 
country,  then  in  that  foreign  country  resistance  must  be 
organized.  It  is  therefore  easy  to  see  how  the  cosmopolitan 
character  of  capital,  the  facility  of  transport  and  exchange,  and 
the  identity  of  manufacturing  processes  naturally  lead  to  an 
international  association  of  working  men. 

Another  circumstance  of  a  more  special  character  led  in  the 
same  direction.  Sometimes  English  employers,  when  their 
workmen  refused  the  conditions  offered  to  them  and  went  out 
on  strike,  imported  foreign  workmen — Germans,  Belgians,  or 
Danes — who  were  ready  to  take  less  wages.  They  even 
threatened  to  introduce  Chinese  coolies,  who,  subsisting  on 
rice,  can  live  in  comfort  on  sixpence  a  day.  How  were  the 
workmen  to  escape  from  this  competition  imported  from  with- 
out? Obviously,  by  forming  an  understanding  with  foreign 
workmen,  by  proving  to  them  that  the  interests  of  all  labourers 
are  mutually  dependent,  and  by  inducing  them  accordingly  to 
refuse  any  offers  that  employers  of  another  country  might  make 
to  them.  Clearly  the  International  grew,  at  the  outset,  on 
economical  ground  and  under  the  influence  of  the  new  condi- 
tions of  modern  industry. 

This  is  proved  beyond  question  by  the  fact  that  the  Inter- 
national came  into  being  immediately  after  the  holding  of  the 
International  Exhibition  at  London,  in  1862.     At  least  it  was 
then  that  it  took  bodily  shape,  for  the  idea,  in  its  theoretical 
form,   dates  from  much  earlier.     In   1847  there  was  held  in 
London  an  assembly  of  German  Communists  under  the  direc- 
tion of  Karl  Marx  and  Friedrich  Engels,  who  had  just  published 
his  book  on  the  condition  of  working  men  in  England.     A 
.  manifesto  was  printed  in  several  languages.     The  programme 
;  adopted'may  be  summarized  as  follows  : — Abolition  of  private 
^  property  ;  centralization  of  credit  in  the  hands  of  the  State  by 
means  of  a  national  bank  ;   agricultural  operations  on  a  large 
scale  to  be  carried  on  according  to  a  scientific  plan,  and  industry 


II 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 49 

to  be  handed  over  to  national  factories.  It  was,  however, 
added  that  the  transformation  of  existing  society  would  not  take 
place  according  to  the  preconceived  ideas  of  any  reformer,  but 
onllie  initiation  of  the  entire  labouring  class.  The  manifesto 
closed  with  the  appeal :  "  Proletarians  of  all  countries,  unite  !  " 
This  idea  of  uniting  all  associations  of  working  men  into  one 
universal  interdependent  federation  has  been  attributed  to  a 
Frenchwoman,  Jeanne  Derouin.  It  was  decided  to  call  an 
International  Congress  of  working  men  at  Brussels  in  the 
following  year;  but  the  revolutionary  movements  of  1848  and 
the  subsequent  reaction  prevented  this  from  being  done,  and 
the  idea  remained  in  abeyance  for  fourteen  years. 

In  1862  certain  manufacturers,  such  as  M.  Arles-Dufour, 
and  certain  newspapers,  such  as  Le  Temps  and  L  Opinion 
Naiionale,  started  the  idea  that  it  would  be  a  good  thing  to 
send  delegates  from  the  French  working  men  to  the  London 
Exhibition.  "  The  visit  to  their  comrades  in  England,"  said 
L^ Opinion  Nationale,  "would  establish  mutual  relations  in  every 
way  advantageous.  While  they  would  be  able  to  get  an  idea 
of  the  great  artistic  and  industrial  works  at  the  Exhibition,  they 
would  at  the  same  time  feel  more  strongly  the  mutual  interests 
which  bind  the  working  men  of  both  countries  together;  the 
old  leaven  of  international  discord  would  settle  down,  and 
national  jealousy  would  give  place  to  a  healthy  fraternal  emula- 
tion." The  whole  programme  of  the  International  is  summed 
up  in  these  lines ;  but  the  manufacturers  little  foresaw  the 
manner  in  which  it  was  going  to  be  carried  out.  Napoleon 
III.  appeared  to  be  very  favourable  to  the  sending  of  the 
delegates  to  London.  He  allowed  them  to  be  chosen  by 
universal  suffrage  among  the  members  of  the  several  trades, 
and,  naturally,  those  who  spoke  the  strongest  on  the  rights  of 
labour  were  chosen.  By  the  Emperor's  orders,  their  journey 
was  facilitated  in  every  way.  At  that  time  Napoleon  still 
dreamed  of  relying,  for  the  maintenance  of  his  Empire,  on  the 
working  men  and  peasants,  and  of  thus  coping  with  the  liberal 
middle  classes. 

At  London  the  English  working  men  gave  the  most  cordial 
welcoipie,|.Q.,". their  brothers  of  J^raspe."     On  the  5th  of  August 


150  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

they  organized  a  fete  of  "international  fraternization"  at  the 
Freemasons'  Tavern.  The  speeches  were  by  no  means  violent. 
On  the  question  of  wages,  it  was  said,  working  men  should 
combine ;  but,  to  smoothen  difficulties,  they  ought  also  to  enter 
into  some  arrangement  with  their  employers.  According  as 
machinery  was  improved,  there  would  be  a  smaller  demand  for 
labour;  a  proportionate  reduction  of  wages  would  therefore 
be  threatened.  How  was  a  sufficient  remuneration  to  be 
Y  secured  to  the  labourer  ?  It  was  a  difficult  problem,  the  solu- 
j  tion  of  which  required  the  attention  of  historians,  philosophers, 
jj  statesmen,  employers,  and  labourers  of  all  countries,  Pinally, 
they  proposed  to  create  committees  of  working  men  "as  a 
medium  for  the  interchange  of  ideas  on  questions  of  interna- 
tional trade."  The  conception  of  a  universal  association 
appears  here  in  embryo.  Two  years  afterwards  it  saw  the 
light. 

On  the  28th  of  September,  1864,  a  great  meeting  of  working 
men  of  all  nations  was  held  at  St.  Martin's  Hall,  London,  under 
the  presidency  of  Professor  Beesly.  M.  Tolain  spoke  in  the 
name  of  France.  Karl  Marx  was  the  real  inspirer  of  the 
movement,  though  Mazzini's  secretary,  Major  Wolff,  assisted 
!  him — a  fact  which  has  given  rise  to  the  statement  that  Mazzini 
I  was  the  founder  of  the  International.  So  far  was  this  from 
being  the  case  that  he  only  joined  it  with  distrust,  and  soon 
left  it.  The  meeting  appointed  a  provisional  committee  to 
draw  up  the  statutes  of  the  association,  to  be  submitted  to  the 
Universal  Congress,  which  was  expected  to  meet  at  Brussels  in 
the  following  year.  In  this  committee  England,  France,  Italy, 
Poland,  Switzerland,  and  Germany  were  represented ;  and 
afterwards  delegates  from  other  countries  were  admitted.  They 
were  fifty  in  all.  They  adopted  none  of  the  ways  of  a  secret 
so'ciety.'  On  the  contrary,  it  was  by  publicity  that  they  hoped 
to  carry  on  their  propaganda.  Their  office  was  in  London  : 
Nor  18,  Greek  Street,  Soho.  The  statutes  that  were  drawn  up 
were,  after  all,  by  no  means  revolutionary ;  indeed,  it  might 
have  been  supposed  to  be  a  society  for  the  study  of  social 
questions.  A  general  council  was  appointed,  with  Odger  for 
president ;  Wheeler,  treasurer ;  Cremer,  secretary ;  and  includ- 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     151 

ing  Le  Lubez  for  France,  Wolff  for  Italy,  Marx  for  Germany, 
Holtorp  for  Poland,  and  Jung  for  Switzerland.  In  order  to 
cover  expenses,  a  fund  was  opened.  They  raised,  it  is  said, 
^-^  sterling  :  a  small  sum  to  shake  the  world. 

Mazzini,  by  his  secretary, Wolff,  proposed  a  highly  centralized 
organization,  which  would  entrust  the  entire  management  to  the 
leaders.     Marx  took  the  other  side,  arguing  that  such  a  system 
might  suit  a  political  conspiracy,  plotting  to  overthrow  a  govern- 
ment, but  that  it  would  not  avail  for  combining  a  very  large  num- 
ber of  working  men's  societies  established  in  different  countries   : 
and  under  different  conditions.    In  order  to  succeed,  they  must 
be  satisfied  with  a  lax  federal  tie,  and  above  all  must  respect  local 
independence.     Far  from  acting  in  the  dark,  their  success  de-   , 
pended  on  the  greatest  possible  publicity.     Mazzini  was  a  mere    \ 
politician,  and  did  not  understand  social  questions.      Having 
passed  his  life  in  hatching  plots,  he  could  not  see  anything  out- 
side of  "  Carbonarism."     Marx,  who  had  a  profound  knowledge 
of  PoHtical  Economy,  had  no  difficulty  in  showing  that,  if  a  few 
barricades  and  a  bold  stroke  might  sometimes  be  sufficient  to 
overthrow  a  dynasty  and  proclaim  a  republic,  that  was  not  the 
way  to  introduce  modifications  with  regard  to  the  holding  of 
property,  the  organization  of  labour,  or  the  basis  of  the  distribu- 
tion of  wealth.     Marx  carried  the  day.     Soon,  in  his  turn,  he 
too  was  to  be  opposed  and  cast  off  as  too  dictatorial.     Mazzini 
and  his  followers  seceded. 

The  very  skilful  and  comparatively  moderate  manifesto, 
drawn  up  by  the  general  council,  embodied  the  ideas  of  Marx. 
In  a  speech  in  Parliament  on  the  16th  of  April,  1863,  Mr.W 
Gladstone  had  said  that  during  the  last  twenty  years  the  con- 
dition of  the  working  man  had  hardly  improved,  and  that  in ,  \ 
many  cases  the  struggle  for  existence  had  become  more  difificult  1  \ 
for  him,  while  the  growth  of  the  national  wealth  from  trade  and 
commerce  had  been  unprecedented,  and  that,  for  example,  the 
exports  had  been  multiplied    threefold.      The  manifesto  cited 
this  speech  and  drew  from  it  the  conclusion  that  means  must 
be  adopted  for  increasing  the  share  of  labour.     The  normal 
working  day  must,  in  the  first  place,  be  limited  to  ten  hours,  in 
order  to  give  the  labourer  some  leisure  for  the  development  "of 


152  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

his  faculties,  and  also  to  avoid  over-production  and  a  glutted 
market.  The  success  of  certain  co-operative  societies  proves 
that  working  men  can  manage  even  a  large  concern  without 
the  direction  of  an  employer.  The  conclusion  may  therefore 
be  drawn  that  wage-earning  is  a  transitory  form  of  labour,  and 
that  it  will  soon  give  place  to  the  system  of  association.  This 
system,  by  securing  to  the  workman  the  entire  product  of  his 
labour,  will  stimulate  his  zeal  and  conduce  to  his  welfare.  To 
attain  this  end,  an  understanding  amongst  all  workmen  is 
required.  Hence  the  establishment  of  the  International  Asso- 
ciation. 

This  manifesto  contained  nothing  alarming.  Michael 
Chevalier  or  J.  S.  Mill,  who  had  both  spoken  of  the'  principle 
of  association  in  similar  terms,  might  have  signed  it.  The 
International  also  affirmed  that  "  the  emancipation  of  the 
labourers  must  be  the  work  of  the  labourers  themselves.  This 
idea  seemed  an  application  of  the  principle  of  "  self-help  ;  "  if 
enlisted  for  the  new  association,  even  in  France,  the  sympathies 
of  many  distinguished  men  who  little  suspected  how  it  was  to 
be  interpreted  later  on.  This  affords  a  new  proof  of  the  fact, 
frequently  observed,  that  revolutionary  movements  always  ^o 
ori  increasing  in  violence.  .  The  originators .  of.  tlie  movemg^t 
are  quickly  left  behind.  They  are  thought  lukewarm  and  are 
soon  looked  upon  as  traitors.  They  are  replaced  by  the  more 
fanatical,  who,  in  their  turn,  are  pushed  aside,  until  the  fmal 
abyss  is  reached  to  which  wild  revolutionary  logic  inevitably 
leads. 

TJie  progress  of  the  new^  association  was  at  first  very  slow. 
A  few  English  working  men's  societies  joined  it;  but  the 
Italians  established  in  London,  though  at  first  giving  in  their 
adherence,  soon  afterward,  by  the  advice  of  Mazzini,  withdrew. 
The  delegate  Lefort,  sent  by  the  general  council  to  Paris,  was 
badly  received.  Tolain  and  Fribourg,  who  had  come  to 
London  to  explain  the  situation,  could  not  agree  with  Le  Lubez, 
who  sent  in  his  resignation.  Harmony  was  aimed,  atj  and  the 
result  was  discord.  The  congress  which  was  to  have  met  at 
Brussels  did  not  take  place,  but,  in  its  stead,  an  ordinary  con- 
ference was  held  in  London,  in  the  month  of  September,     The 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  TILE  LNTERNATLONAL.     1 53 

delegates  from  the  Continent  brought  discouraging  news. 
Except  in  Switzerland,  adhesions  were  rare.  The  Belgian 
delegates  complained  of  the  apathy  of  their  countrymen  ;  the 
French,  of  the  vexatious  interference  of  the  police  ;  the  Italians, 
of  the  hostility  of  Mazzini's  followers.  Itwas  determined  to 
hold  a  General  Congress  next  year  at  Geneva. 

The  first  sitting  did,  in  fact,  take  place  bn  the  3rd  of  Sep- 
tember, 1866,  at  Geneva,  under  the '  presidency  of  Jung,  who 
represented  the  General  Council.  There  were  in  all  only  sixty 
delegates,  seventeen  of  whom  were  French.  Besides  Jung, 
the  General  Council  had  sent  Odger,  Cremer,  Eccarius,  and 
Carter.  The  statutes  drawn  up  in  London  under  the  inspira- 
tion of  IVTarx  were" adopted  almost  without  change.  They 
were  very  skilfully  conceived.  They  presented  a  well-planned 
application  of  the  federal  system  and  of  voting  by  several 
stages.  Local  initiative  was  respected,  while  the  central 
authority,  emanating  from  the  several  federated  groups,  was  to 
direct  the  whole.  These  statutes  were  framed  so  as  not  to 
alarm  Governments  and  to  avoid  the  risk  of  suppression  by  the 
law. 

The  association  is  founded,  says  the  first  article,  to  provide 
a  centre  of  communication  and  co-operation  between  working 
men  of  different  countries  who  have  the  same  end  in  view, 
namely,  "  the  joint  action,  the  advancement,  and  the  complete 
emancipation  of  the  working  class."  The  Association,  and  all 
societies  and  individuals  joining  it,  recognize  truth,  justice,  and 
morality  as  the  basis  of  their  conduct,  and  take  for  their  motto, 
"  No  duties  without  rights  and  no  rights  without  duties." 
These  were  golden  words.  How  could  the  tribunals  think  for 
a  moment  of  prosecuting  such  an  association  ? 

The  unit  of  the  Association  is  the  section.  A  section  is 
composed  of  the  working  men  of  a  particular  locality  or  trade 
who  become  members  and  unite  in  order  to  study  and  defend 
their  common  interests.  All  the  sections  of  a  region  are 
grouped  so  as  to  form  a  federation.  Lastly,  the  statutes  say, 
"  as  the  utility  of  the  General  Council  will  be  the  greater  in 
proportion  as  its  acfon  is  less  diffused,  the  members  of  the 
International  Association  ought  to  make  every  effort  to  estab- 


154  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

lish,  in  each  country,  a  National  Association  of  all  Societies 
existing  therein." 

Thus  the  International  was  to  be  constructed  like  a  pyramid, 
founded  on  the  territorial  division  of  existing  Society  :  at  the 
base  of  all  was  the  commune ;  then,  from  the  grouping  of  com- 
munes, the  province;  from  the  grouping  of  provinces,  the 
nation ;  and,  to  crown  all,  from  the  grouping  of  nations, 
humanity.  It  was  a  grand  idea,  recalling  that  of  the  Catholic 
Church;  but  for  want  of  the  principle  of  authority  and 
obedience,  the  national  grouping  of  sections  was  never  accom- 
plished, even  in  France  or  Germany. 

Each  section  and  each  federation  names  a  committee, 
which  is  connected  with  the  General  Council.  Every  month 
each  committee  sends  a  report  on  the  position  of  the  Associa- 
tions within  its  jurisdiction.  The  General  Council  is  elected 
by  the  representatives  of  the  federations.  Each  congress 
determines  the  time  and  place  of  the  next  congress,  while  the 
General  Council  setdes  beforehand  the  questions  for  discussion, 
and  presents  a  report  on  the  proceedings  of  the  year.  It  also 
issues  a  circular  concerned  with  everything  likely  to  interest 
working  men  :  offers  of,  and  demands  for,  labour ;  wages  ;  the 
progress  of  co-operative  societies ;  the  situation  of  the  working 
classes  in  different  countries.  It  is  in  permanent  relation  with 
local  societies.  It  chooses  from  its  members  the  president, 
the  secretary,  and  the  treasurer  of  the  association.  To  meet 
the  ordinary  expenses  of  the  staff  and  of  publications,  a  sub- 
scription is  called  for.  The  members  pay,  in  the  first  place, 
from  the  time  of  joining,  half  a  franc  a  year  for  the  general 
fund,  and,  in  addition,  from  one  to  two  francs  for  the  local 
section  or  federation.  To  assist  strikes,  further  resources  must 
be  obtained.  By  a  very  cleverly  conceived  rule,  every  society 
that  wished  to  affiliate  itself  was  allowed  to  retain  its  own 
organization.  In  this  way  working  men's  societies  of  all  kinds 
could  be  absorbed,  provided  they  simply  declared  their 
adhesion  to  the  principles  of  the  International. 

The  debates  and  the  resolutions  of  the  first  congress  were 
moderate.  The  more  radical  motions  were  not  carried.  The 
French  group  represented  "  the  left,"  and  the  Germans  "  the 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL    OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 55 

extreme  left."  The  English  kept  to  what  was  possible  under 
existing  circumstances.  Should  all  religions  be  condemned  as 
hostile  to  the  emancipation  of  the  labourer  ?  The  congress 
refused  to  pronounce  upon  the  question,  the  subject  not 
entering  into  the  circle  of  their  inquiries.  Ought  only  working 
men  to  be  admitted  ?  The  French  wished  to  exclude  inexor- 
ably "  the  brain-workers,"  the  lawyers  and  the  journalists,  "  all 
those  fine  talkers "  who  make  a  trade  of  agitation.  The 
English  and  the  Germans  opposed  this.  It  would,  in  fact,  have 
been  to  expel  all  those  who  had  created  and  were  directing  the 
International. 

The  congress  also  refused  to  adopt  any  particular  plan  of 
social  reorganization,  and  limited  itself  to  formulating  general 
principles.  It  thought  that,  by  means  of  free  co-operation, 
power  and  capital  would  at  length  pass  into  the  hands  of 
working  men.  However,  it  urged  trades  unions  not  to  content 
themselves  with  seeking  higher  wages,  but  to  unite  in  order  to 
obtain  "  the  complete  emancipation  of  the  labourer."  A  wish 
was  expressed  in  favour  of  the  independence  of  Poland  ;  but  a 
motion  "  to  stigmatize  Russian  despotism  "  was  not  admitted. 
It  was  also  decided  to  aim  at  the  general  reduction  of  the 
normal  working  day  to  eight  hours.  Children's  labour  could 
not  be  entirely  prohibited,  but  it  must  not  exceed  a  few  hours 
a  day,  the  rest  of  the  time  being  devoted  to  education,  which 
the  employers  were  bound  to  provide.  A  portion,  however,  of 
the  children's  wages  might  be  deducted  to  pay  their  teachers. 
Finally,  resolutions  were  voted  in  favour  of  direct  taxation  and 
the  suppression  of  standing  armies.  This  was  a  reminiscence 
of  the  Peace  Congress. 

In  1867  the  International  began  to  make  its  power  felt. 
Its  victories  date  from  this  epoch.  The  Parisian  workers  in 
bronze  had  formed  a  union  since  the  year  1864,  immediately 
after  the  abolition  of  the  law  forbidding  coalitions.  In 
February,  1867,  they  struck  work,  and  the  employers  resolved 
on  a  "  lock  out,"  which  threw  five  thousand  workmen  out  of 
employment.  Three  of  their  delegates  went  to  London  to  ask 
aid  of  the  International.  The  assistance  they  obtained  was 
scanty  enough ;  but  the  employers,  thinking  that  money  was 


WO^ 


156  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

abundant,  gave  in.  This  victory  obtained  for  the  association 
a  large  number  of  adhesions  throughout  France.  In  England 
other  measures  brought  in  recruits.  In  certain  trades,  the 
employers,  threatened  by  strikes,  brought  workmen  over  from 
Belgium  and  Germany.  The  International  immediately  set 
to  work.  It  succeeded  in  arresting  the  departure  of  further 
detachments  of  workmen,  and  as  to  those  already  employed, 
it  induced  them  to  return  to  their  own  country  on  having  thj^ir 
expenses  paid  and  getting  something  over  for  themselves.  A 
whole  batch  of  Germans,  warned  at  the  moment  of  landing, 
returned  home  on  the  first  opportunity.  The  trades'  unions, 
which  hitherto  had  confined  their  operations  exclusively  to 
England,  now  understood  the  object  of  the  International,  and 
a  certain  number  of  them  joined  it.  Recruiting  recommenced 
in  Germany,  where  it  had  been  arrested  in  the  preceding  year 
by  the  war  between  Austria  and  Prussia,  and  was  carried  on 
to  a  considerable  extent  in  Switzerland,  especially  in  the 
French  cantons.  Several  Socialist  newspapers,  too,  placed 
their  services  at  the  disposal  of  the  International.* 

The  second  congress  held  its  sittings  at  Lausanne,  from  the 
2nd  to  the  8th  September,  1867.  Radical  ideas  began  to  find 
utterance,  though  as  yet  they  did  not  prevail  ..^NeitheF 
abolition  of  hereditary  succession  nor  the  adoption  of  collective 
property  was  voted,  but  only  the  taking  up  by  the  State  of  the 
railways,  "  in  order  to  destroy  the  monopoly  of  the  great 
companies,  which,  by  subjecting  the  working  class  to  their 
arbitrary  rules,  attack  at  once  both  the  dignity  of  man  and  the 
liberty  of  the  individual."  Except  for  this  curious  clause,  which 
looks  as  if  it  had  been  drawn  up  by  a  dismissed  engineer, 
there  is  nothing  very  revolutionary  in  this  motion.  Indeed, 
Governments  vie  with  each  other  in  putting  it  into  practice. 
The  congress  did  not  even  approve  of  gratuitous  education, 

*  Among  these  were :  in  France,  La  Fourmi,  V Association,  Le  Congres 
otivrier,  La  Mutualite ;  in  Germany,  the  Sozial-Demokrat  and  the  Deutsche 
Arbeiter-Zeitting  of  Berlin,  the  A'ordstej'ii  of  Hamburg,  the  Correspondent 
of  Leipzig ;  in  London,  the  Workmaii's  Advocate,  edited  by  Eccarius, 
and  the  Jnternational  Courier,  written  both  in  Enghsh  and  in  French  ; 
in  Belgium,  La  Tribune  du  peuplc.  The  International  also  found  organs  in 
Italy,  Spain  and  America. 


Tim  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE   INTERNATIONAL.     1 57 

It  decided  that  the  first  duty  of  parents  being  to  instruct  their 
children,  the  State  should  only  pay  for  them  when  they  cannot 
pay  for  themselves.  The  most  orthodox  economist,  even  the 
most  opposed  to  State  intervention,  could  not  ask  for  anything 
better. 

Contrary  to  the  opinions  expressed  at  Geneva,  the  Congress 
of  Lausanne  showed  much  distrust  in  respect  of  co-operative 
societies,  "  because  they  tend  to  create  a  fourth  estate  with  a 
fifth  estate  below  them  more  miserable  still."  The  objection 
appears  a  strange  one.  If  the  working  men  co-operators  are 
in  a  better  situation  than  the  others,  is  that  a  reason  for  pro- 
scribing the  Association  ?  Is  it  not  rather  the  reverse  }  Must 
we  condemn  all  reform  which  is  only  partial,  and  can  we  in 
practice  obtain  any  other  ?  The  congress,  however,  wished 
to  persuade  the  proletariat,  "  that  the  social  transformation 
could  not  be  effected  in  a  radical  and  permanent  way,  except 
by  means  acting  on  society  as  a  whole  and  conformable  to 
reciprocity  and  justice."  It  was  agreed  that  "in  order  to 
prevent  the  associations  from  contributing  to  the  maintenance 
of  inequality,  it  was  necessary  to  abolish,  as  far  as  possible,  the 
levy  made  by  capital  on  labour,  that  is  to  say,  to  introduce  the 
idea  of  mutuality  and  federation."  This  appears  to  mean  that 
interest  should  be  abolished;  but  then,  the  co-operators, 
getting  no  advantage  by  increasing  their  deposits,  would  give 
up  saving,  and  all  increase  in  the  means  of  production  would 
be  arrested.  So  long  as  the  formation  of  capital  remains  the 
result  of  a  voluntary  act,  inasmuch  as  that  act  constitutes  a 
sacrifice,  it  will  not  take  place  without  reward.  On  the  field 
of  battle  men  will  die  for  their  country.  In  the  workshop' 
they  will  not  deny  themselves  that  others  may  enjoy.  Heroism 
and  self-abnegation  are  sublime  virtues  ;  but  they  will  never  be 
the"  moving  forces  of  the  economic  world. 

An  important  question  arose  :  Ought  the  International  to 
confine  itself  exclusively  to  economic  ground,  or  was  it  its 
interest  to  make  common  cause  with  that  party  of  the  bour- 
geoisie who  aim  at  political  reforms  and  the  establishment  of 
a  republic,  if  need  be  by  means  of  revolution  ?  Karl  Marx 
would  have  wished  to  limit  the  activity  of  the  association  to 


158  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  labour  question ;  they  would  thus  have  more  chance  of 
escaping  repression  and  of  attaining  some  practical  results. 
After  much  discussion,  it  was  decided  that  "  social  emancipa- 
tion was  inseparable  from  political  emancipation ; "  and  they 
accordingly  sent  delegates  to  the  Congress  of  Peace  and 
Liberty,  which  was  at  that  moment  sitting  at  Geneva. 

The  old  revolutionary  spirit,  which  believes  that  everything 
can  be  settled  by  a  few  bold  strokes,  and  which  has  no  idea 
of  the  difficulties  presented  by  social  questions,  predominated 
at  this  congress.  These  old-fashioned  Jacobins  let  loose  the 
storms,  provoke  reactions,  and  thus  retard  the  economic 
progress,  that  is  to  say,  the  improvement  of  the  lot  of  the 
greatest  number,  which  is  the  important  thing  to  attain. 

^  The  rapid  extension  of  the  International  in  France  alarmed 
the  imperial  Government,  and  prosecutions  were  commenced. 
In  March,  1868,  a  certain  number  of  the  leaders  were  con- 
demned, but  only  to  a  fine  of  one  hundred  francs,  for  the 
offence  of  having  joined,  not  a  secret,  but  an  unauthorized 
society.  The  speech  of  the  public  prosecutor  was  full  of 
indulgence  and  even  sympathy ;  for  the  Imperial  Government 
still  hoped  to  rally  the  working  men  to  its  side.  The  only 
effect  of  this  appearance  of  repression  was  to  attract  attention 
to  the  International  and  to  make  it  more  popular.  "Govern- 
ment persecution,"  said  the  Council-General  a  short  time  after- 
•  wards,  "  far  from  killing  the  International,  has  given  it  a  new 
I  impetus,  by  putting  an  end  to  the  unwholesome  coquetting 
I  of  the  empire  with  the  working  class."  In  Germany,  too,  the 
Association  made  rapid  progress  at  this  period.  A  great  many 
trades  unions  {Gewerk-Verehie)  were  established  there.  In 
the  month  of  August  an  assembly  of  the  representatives  of 
one  hundred  and  twenty  working  men's  societies  took  place 
at  Nuremberg,  and  they  decided  to  affiliate  themselves  to  the 
International.  It  also  penetrated  into  Spain.  In  Switzerland 
its  popularity  spread  widely,  because  it  had  enabled  some 
bricklayers  at  Geneva  to  obtain  increased  wages. 

The  third  congress  met  at  Brussels,  at  the  Circus  Theatre, 
from  the  5th  to  the  nth  of  September,  1868.  Ninety-eight  dele- 
gates represented  England,  France,  Germany,  Belgium,  Italy, 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 59 

Spain,  and  Switzerland.  A  full  report  of  the  proceedings  was 
published  in  a  Socialist  newspaper  of  Brussels,  Le  Peuple  Beige. 
Upon  each  question  on  the  order  of  the  day,  a  report  was  pre- 
sented. The  discussions  were  in  general  brief  and  not  very 
animated,  and  the  resolutions  drawn  up  by  the  central  com- 
mittee were  carried  without  modification.  It  was  only  on  Jhe 
question  of  property  in  land  that  differences  of  opinion  arose. 
The  first  question  that  occupied  the  congress  was  that  of  war. 
The  incident  of  the  cession  of  Luxembourg,  prevented  by  the 
veto  of  Prussia,  and  the  attitude  of  the  ministers  of  Napoleon 
III.,  caused  apprehension  of  a  collision  between  France  and 
Germany.  The  formula  circulated  by  the  Peace  Societies, 
"  War  against  war  !  "  served  as  the  text  of  several  speeches,  in 
which  the  French  delegates  energetically  affirmed  that  the 
people  in  France  rejected  all  idea  of  an  attack  upon  Prussia. 
On  their  side,  the  Germans  proposed  a  resolution  that  a  war 
between  France  and  Germany  would  be  a  civil  war  for  the 
benefit  of  Russia.*  The  congress  had  even  the  simplicity  to 
believe  that  working  men  could  put  a  stop  to  any  fresh  war. 
Their  scheme  was  as  follows  : — "  The  social  body  cannot  live  if 
production  cease  for  a  certain  time.  It  would  be  sufficient, 
then,  for  the  producers  to  stop  producing  to  render  impossible 
the  enterprises  of  personal  and  despotic  governments."  Thus 
when  war  is  threatened,  a  universal  strike  is  the  remedy.  Alas  ! 
it  cannot  be  applied.  In  existing  conditions  it  is  capital,  and 
not  labour,  that  commands.  If  the  labourer  ceases  to  work, 
society,  it  is  true,  will  perish,  but  the  labourer  will  be  the  first 
to  die,  for  he  lives  from  day  to  day.  The  idea  of  a  universal 
strike,  which  reappears  from  time  to  time,  is  an  impossibility. 

*  The  preamble  of  this  resolution  is  worth  noting: — "Considering 
that  justice  ought  to  regulate  the  mutual  relations  of  natural  groups,  peoples, 
and  nations,  as  well  as  those  of  individuals  ;  that  the  primary  cause  of  war 
is  the  want  of  economic  equilibrium  ;  that  war  has  always  been  the  reason 
of  the  strongest,'  and  not  the  sanction  of  right ;  tliat  it  strengthens 
despotism  and  stifles  liberty  ;  that  by  spreading  ruin  and  desolation  among 
families,  and  demoralization  wherever  the  armies  concentrate,  war  main- 
tains and  perpetuates  ignorance  and  misery  ;  that  the  expenditure  of  the 
blood  and  treasure  of  peoples  has  served  only  to  maintain  among  them  the 
savage  instincts  of  man  in  a  state  of  nature  ; — the  International  Congress  of 
Working  Men,  assembled  at  Brussels,  declares  its  most  energetic  protest 
against  war." 


l60  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

On  the  question  of  machines,  the  discussions  were  some- 
what confused.  The  delegates  could  not,  like  ignotaffi 
labourers,  condemn  the  use  of  the  improved  machines  that  dis- 
coveries of  sciences  were  placing  at  the  service  of  industr}^ 
On  the  contrary,  they  prided  themselves  on  having  no  other 
religion  than  that  of  science.  To  proscribe  machines  logically 
involves  breaking  up  the  plough,  the  shuttle,  the  spade — in  a 
word,  all  tools,  and  returning  to  the  age  of  stone.  Nobody 
called  for  the  suppression  of  machines;  but  the  majority  of  the 
congress  appeared  to  be  convinced  that  the  employment  of 
machines  diminishes  the  demand  for  labour,  and  consequently 
reduces  wages,  though  all  the  facts  hitherto  ascertained  prove 
the  contrary.  Finally,  the  following  resolution  was  adopted  : — 
"  That  it  was  only  by  co-operative  societies  and  a  system  of 
mutual  credit  that  the  producers  could  become  themselves  the 
owners  of  machines  ;  meanwhile,  as  matters  were,  working  men, 
constituted  into  societies  of  resistance,  might  interfere  with 
advantage  to  prevent  the  introduction  of  machines,  without 
certain  guarantees  and  compensations  to  the  labourer." 

The  principal  end  aimed  at  by  the  International  appears 
clearly  in  the  deb)ate  on  the  question  of  strikes.  Graglia,  the 
delegate  from  Geneva,  showed  that  the  masons'  strike  had  suc- 
ceeded because  the  employers  beheved  that  considerable  funds 
had  been  sent  from  England,  France,  and  Belgium.  Working 
men  in  every  country  should,  he  said,  combine  in  sections  and 
form  provident  funds,  which  might  on  occasion  become  defence 
funds.  In  every  town  groups  should  be  formed,  and  should 
be  all  united  by  an  international  tie,  and  the  whole  labouring 
class  should  come  to  the  aid  of  those  who  resist,  "  in  order  to 
defend  the  rights  of  labour."  In  this  way  there  would  be  no 
more  strikes,  for  employers,  convinced  beforehand  that  they 
should  have  to  give  way,  would  yield  before  there  was  any 
need  of  having  recourse  to  strikes.  Such  was  the  original  idea 
of  the  International,  but  the  later  adherents  considered  it 
narrow  and  mean.  It  was,  in  fact,  the  idea  of  the  English 
trades  unions,  which,  accepting  wages  as  a  fact,  simply 
endeavoured  to  raise  them  as  high  as  possible.  According, 
however,  to  the  continental  Internationalists,  the  object  to  aim 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  TILE  INTERNATIONAL.     l6l 

at  was,  not  the  increase  of  wages,  but  the  aboHtion  of  the 
wages  system  by  a  radical  transformation  of  the  social  order. 
ComBinations  and  strikes  were  only  makeshifts,  while  awaiting 
something  better.  The  following  were  the  declarations  adopted 
on  this  subject : — "  Strikes  are  not  a  means  of  completely  eman- 
cipating the  labourer,  but  they  are  often  a  necessity  in  the 
existing  conflict  between  capital  and  labour.  It  is  therefore 
advisable  to  subject  strikes  to  certain  conditions  as  to  organiza- 
tion, opportuneness,  and  propriety.  With  regard  to  the  organi- 
zation of  strikes,  in  those  trades  which  have  not,  as  yet, 
societies  of  resistance,  mutual  aid  societies,  or  assurance  funds 
against  stoppage  of  work,  it  is  advisable  to  create  these  insti- 
tutions, and  then  to  make  them  mutually  interdependent  in  all 
trades  and  in  all  countries.  In  a  word,  it  is  necessary  to  carry 
on  in  this  direction  the  work  undertaken  by  the  International, 
and  to  endeavour  to  make  the  whole  proletariat  join  the  asso- 
ciation ;  it  is  also  advisable  to  appoint  a  committee  in  each 
district  from  the  delegates  of  the  different  federated  groups,  to 
judge  of  the  opportuneness  andpropriety  of  impending  strikes." 
This,  as  may  be  seen,  was  a  complete  plan  of  campaign.  The 
association  did  not  wish  strikes  to  be  lightly  undertaken, 
because,  in  the  first  place,  it  would  be  bound  to  aid  them, 
which  would  be  often  impossible ;  and  secondly,  because,  if 
they  should  fail,  its  prestige  would  be  seriously  affected.  How- 
ever, this  council  of  arbiters,  that  it  wished  to  establish,  does 
not  appear  to  have  ever  regularly  exercised  its  functions. 

It  was  at  the  Congress  of  Brussels  that  the  change  which 
came  over  the  International  first  became  manifest.  At  the  out- 
set, it  was  only  going  to  be  a  vast  society  of  resistance  for 
maintaining  or  raising  the  rate  of  wages,  a  sort  of  Universal 
Trades  Union.  But3°^^  ^^  began  to  dream  of  completely 
transforming  society  by  suppressing  the  wage  "syrtem7"  this 
modern  form  of  slavery?'"  How  was  This  to  be  "done?  By 
assigning  all  the  means  of  production  to  the  "  collectivity." 
This  is  the  new  doctrine,  "Collectivism."  The  relentless 
criticism  of  Proudhon  had  rendered  Communism  quite  un- 
popular. The  Congress  of  Lausanne  had  already  decided  that 
the  railways  should  belong  to  the  State.     At  Brussels  the  same 


1 62  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

pnnciple  was  applied  to  mines  and  quarries,  to  forests,  and 
even  to  arable  land.  The  grounds  of  this  resolution  were 
stated  as  follows  : — "Considering  that  the  necessities  of  pro- 
duction and  the  application  of  agricultural  science  call  for 
cultivation  conducted  on  a  large  scale,  and  require  the  intro- 
duction of  machines  and  the  organization  of  combined  labour 
in  agriculture,  and  that,  moreover,  economic  evolution  itself 
tends  in  the  same  direction, — that,  therefore,  property  in  the 
soil  and  agricultural  labour  ought  to  be  treated  on  the  same 
footing  as  mining  labour  and  property  in  the  subsoil ;  that, 
moreover,  the  productive  quality  of  the  soil  is  the  original 
material  of  all  products,  the  primitive  source  of  all  wealth, 
without  being  itself  the  product  of  anybody's  labour ;  that  the 
alienation  to  individuals  of  this  indispensable  original  material 
makes  all  societypaytribute  to  those  to  whom  it  is  alienated  ; — 
the  congress  thinks  that  the  course  of  economic  evolution  will 
make  the  collective  ownership  of  arable  land  a  social  necessity, 
and  that  the  land  will  be  granted  out  to  companies  of  labourers, 
under  conditions  of  guaranty  for  society  and  for  the  cultivator, 
analogous  to  those  necessary  in  the  case  of  mines  and  railways." 
Observe  how  this  language  differs  from  that  of  revolutionaries 
of  Jacobin  traditions.  The  influence  of  the  positivist  school, 
which  prides  itself  on  preaching  respect  for  natural  laws,  is 
plainly  felt.  It  is  not  revolution,  but  "evolution"  which  will 
lead  society  to  "  collectivism  ; "  not  the  decrees  of  a  conven- 
tion, but  "social  necessities"  that  will  bring  about  the  trans- 
formation. 'The  congress,  moreover,  retains  the  reserve  of 
philosophic  doubt ;  it  does  not  affirm,  it  "  thinks  "  that  matters 
will  thus  come  to  pass.  The  declarations  of  the  congress, 
although  reduced  to  a  mere  expression  of  opinion,  were  not 
carried  without  vigorous  opposition. 

M.  Tolain  urgently  defended  private  property  in  land,  at 
the  risk  of  seeming  reactionary.  The  idea  of  the  collective 
ownership  of  arable  land  had  been  readily  adopted  by  many 
^?  Englishmen,  under  the  name  of  "nationalization  of  the  land." 
As  a  few  aristocratic  families  own  almost  the  whole  extent  of 
the  British  Isles,  to  assign  property  in  land,  there,  to  the  State 
seems  to  be  a  measure  which  does  not  offer  insurmountable 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 63 

difficulties,  and  which,  in  appearance,  would  have  some  analo- 
gies to  the'confiscation  of  the  property  of  the  Emigres  an3  of 
the"clergy  in  1793.  In  the  last  letter  which  I  received  from 
J.  "S.  Mill,  he  explained  to  me  that  the  working  classes  in 
England  were  opposed  to  peasant  properties,  which  he  and  his 
friend  Thornton  advocated,  because  the  more  proprietors  there 
were, 'the  greater  opposition  would  be  given  to  all  schemes 
of  expropriation.  M.  Tolain,  representing  France,  where  there 
are**niore  than  five  millions  of  small  proprietors,  well  knew  that 
collectivism,  applied  to  agricultural  land,  would  excite  there  - 

a  formidable  opposition.  Besides,  he  maintained  that  it  was  u^Miu  to^ 
above  all  things  necessary  to  preserve  individuality;  that,  the  -hn  C-u.?.<L 
improvement  of  the  individual  being  the  supreme  end,  indi- 
viduality should  not  be  sacrificed  to  the  idol  of  the  community. 
We  meet  here  the  foundation  of  Proudhon's  ideas,  as  opposed 
to  the  current  ideas  of  the  Communists.  His  sturdy  hatred  of 
the  State,  his  eloquent  tirades  in  favour  of  anarchy,  that  is  to 
say,  of  the  abdication  of  the  State  as  the  orthodox  economists 
desire  it,  have  left  a  profound  impression  upon  the  minds  of  a 
portion  of  the  working  classes. 

Socialists  of  the  old  school,  like  Louis  Blanc,  and  "  the 
Socialists  of  the  Chair "  to-day,  are  always  invoking  State 
action  ;  whereas  the  Internationalists  avoid  the  very  mention 
of  the  name.  They  speak  of  the  collectivity,  of  the  Commune, 
of  working  men's  associations,  of  decentralization,  and  their 
ideal  seems  to  be  a  federation  of  autonomous  co-operative 
societies..  So  far  as  the  incoherence  and  ignorance  personified 
in  the  Commune  of  1871  were  able  to  express  any  idea,  it  was 
this  same  notion  which  predominated.  It  explains  their 
hesitation,  and,  in  the  main,  their  inaction  in  the  matter  of 
social  reforms.  When  people  believe  that  the  State  has  for  its 
mission  to  model  society  after  some  ideal  of  justice,  they  make 
a  revolution,  and  place  in  power  a  Committee  of  Public  Safety, 
which  cuts,  amputates,  and  legislates  without  mercy,  so  as  to 
give  to  the  social  body  the  wished-for  form.  But  when,  like 
the  Internationalists,  under  the  influence  of  positivism  and  the 
methods  of  the  natural  sciences,  they  admit  that  transforma- 
tions  are   effected    by  "  social   necessities "    and    "  economic 


1 64  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

evolution  "  in  the  midst  of  free  Communes  and  autonomous 
groups,  they  are  logically  reduced  to  impotence.  Why  inter- 
fere with  the  action  of  "natural  laws"?  The  only  thing  to 
be  done  is  "to  fire  the  towns,"  so  as  to  illuminate  the 
question  ! 

It  was  the  Congress  of  Brussels  that  explained  with  the 
greatest  detail  the  economic  programme  of  the  International. 
Let  us  pause  a  moment  in  order  to  examine  it  more  closely. 
The  land,  it  affirms,  ought  to  belong  to  "the  collectivity." 
What  does  this  word  include  ?  Inasmuch  as  the  division  into 
separate  States  is  to  disappear,  it  probably  means  "  the 
human  collectivity,"  the  whole  of  humanity.  I  shall  then 
be  co-proprietor  of  the  land  of  the  Zulus  and  of  the  Esquimaux, 
as  they  will  be  of  the  field  I  cultivate.  Will  this  domiiiium  of 
humanity  be  merely  nominal,  like  that  Avhich  the  sovereign 
still  possesses  in  England  over  all  the  soil  of  the  British  Isles  ? 
If  this  be  so,  matters  would  be  left  as  they  are,  with  one  fiction 
added.  Will  it,  on  the  contrary,  be  an  effective  dominium  with 
receipt  of  revenue  and  selection  of  occupants  ?  We  are,  then, 
brought  to  a  conception  hardly  intelligible  and  absolutely 
unworkable.  When  we  read  their  statements  of  reasons,  we 
see  that  they  do  not  know  where  to  stop.  Who  is  to  dispose 
of  the  lands  :  the  human  race,  the  State,  the  Commune,  or 
the  Agricultural  Co-operative  Association  ?  Nothing  definite 
is  said  on  the  subject.  W^ill  rent  be  abolished  ?  Apparently 
so ;  but  then,  what  inequality  between  those  who,  with  equal 
labour,  obtain  from  fertile  land  eighty  bushels  of  wheat,  and 
those  who  extract  from  refractory  soil  only  forty  bushels  of 
rye  ?  In  short,  assign  the  property  in  land  to  the  collectivity, 
whatever  it  may  be,  and  you  will  thus  have  secured  neither 
justice,  nor  equality,  nor  happiness  for  all 

The  Economist  cannot,  like  the  Physicist,  check  the  truth 
of  his  conceptions  by  experiments  in  a  laboratory,  but  he  can 
judge  of  the  effect  of  certain  institutions  by  the  study  of  com- 
parative legislation.  There  are  countries  where  the  system 
advocated  by  the  Congress  of  Brussels  is  found  in  vigour.  In 
certain  provinces  of  India  and  in  Egypt,  the  soil  virtually 
belongs  to  the  State,  for  it  draws  nearly  the  whole  net  produce. 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  TILE  LNTERNATIONAL.     1 65 

In  Italy,  too,  the  reform  is  half  accomplished  ;  for  the  State,  the 
"  ProvincesTari'd^  the  Coinmune'Tevyj'  B|;  way  oT  taxes;  thirty,  forty, 
and  even  fiifty  per  cent,  of  the  land  reveriue.  It  is,  ffiefefbre, 
the  same  as  if  they  had  got  possession  of  half  the  property. 
Is  the  tiller  of  the  soil  in  these  countries  any  the  happier  ? 
No  j"  the  poverty  of  the  rural  districts  is  extreme.  To  give  the' 
ownership  of  land  to  the  State  would  simply  be  to  impose  a 
single  tax,  as  was  formerly  advocated  by  the  Physiocrats,  and 
recently  by  MM.  de  Girardin  and  Menier.  The  general 
character  of  our  societies  would  not  be  in  the  least  modified. 
Rent,  consumed  to-day  by  landowners,  would  then  be  swal- 
lowed  up  by  State  officials.  This  is  precisely  what  the 
Proudhonian  Anarchists,  the  desperate  opponents  of  the 
"  State-Divinity,"  fought  against.  They,  accordingly,  proposed 
to  entrust  the  land  to  rural  associations.  But  here  also 
experience,  that  supreme  authority  which  the  Sociologists 
always  quote,  gives  serious  warnings  on  the  subject  of  "  the 
natural  laws  of  social  evolution." 

The  system  of  which  the  International  Anarchists  dream 
is  not^^T  Utopia.  It  was  formerly  general '  in  France,  arid  it 
still  exists  to-day  with  the  Slavs  of  the  Danube  and  of  the 
Balkans.  Thefe  the  land  is  worked  and  owned  by  autonomous 
associations,  which  are  very  justly  termed  by  Austrian  writers 
Hauscovununionen,  "House  or  Family  Communities."  When  I 
visited  the  zadrugas  of  Servia  and  Croatia,  I  too,  like  M.  Le  Play 
and  like  the  great  apostle  of  Danubian  Slavism,  Monseigneur 
Strossmayer,  was  beguiled  by  the  charms  of  this  ruraTlife,  so 
simple,  so  sweet,  so  poetic.  '  In  seeing  a  whole  associated 
group,  men  and  women,  working  in  common  in  the  fields,  or  | 
preparing  the  hemp  and  the  wool  for  their  clothes,  in  the  late  ,' 
evening,  the  music  of  the  guzla  accompanying  the  song  of  the  j 
Servian  };omancero,  one  might  fancy  one's  self  transported  among 
the  nymphs  and  swains  of  the  Golden  Age.*™;  "  Natural 
Evolution,"    however,    is    undermining    these    frarernal    insti- 

*  See  the  author's  study  on  "  Family  Communities  "  in  his  book  Les 
Formes  primitives  de  la  propriete,  2nd  edit.  p.  201.  [This  worlt  has  been 
translated  into  Enghsh  by  Mr.  Marriott  ("  Primitive  Property."  London, 
Macmillan,  1878). — Jr.] 


1 66  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tutions,  based  though  they  are  on  family  ties  and  immemorial 
traditions.  When  what  we  call  progress  comes  to  shake  this 
patriarchal  life  from  its  torpor,  and  new  wants  come  into 
being,  the  associates  no  longer  care  to  labour  for  the  common 
weal ;  they  demand  a  partition.  Little  by  little  the  spirit  of 
individualism  is  destroying  the  Slavic  zadruga,  as  before,  in  the 
seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries,  it  brought  about  the 
disappearance  of  the  communities  of  ancient  France.  When 
isolated,  are  the  families  happier?  Far  from  it.  Often  they 
hav^e  to  sell  their  properties  and  lapse  into  poverty.  Still 
they  wish  for  freedom  and  independence,  even  at  the  price_of 
the  responsibilities  and  disappointments  thereby  engendered. 
Before  another  half-century,  when  railways  and  modern  in- 
dustry shall  have  developed  the  wealth  of  Southern  Slavonia, 
the  ancient  equality  will  have  given  way  to  the  opposition 
between  capitalism  and  wage-earning,  as  in  our  western 
countries.  We  may  regret  the  fact,  but  it  cannot  be  denied  ; 
existing  tendencies  seem  fatal  to  rural  communities.  They 
endure  only  when  they  rest  on  a  religious  sentiment  of  a 
perfervid  type,  as  at  Oneida  or  among  the  Trappists. 

During  the  year  1869  the  International  spread  with 
extraordinary  rapidity.  There  was  a  great  ferment  among 
the  working  classes  throughout  Europe,  and  particularly  in 
France,  where,  after  the  May  elections,  the  Government, 
doubtless  with  the  object  of  rallying  the  middle  classes  to  its 
side,  had  given  complete  liberty  to  the  violent  language  of 
the  clubs.  Strikes  took  place  all  over  Europe,  and  in  many 
parts,  notably  at  Seraing  in  Belgium,  and  at  Creusot  in 
France,  they  ended  in  skirmishes  and  bloodshed.  All  these 
strikes  brought  recruits  to  the  International  in  the  hope  of 
getting  aid.  Usually  they  did  not  succeed,  for  the  great 
association  was  not  rich ;  but  in  the  early  days  of  excitement 
it  was  supposed  to  be  powerful,  and  it  caused  employers  to 
make  concessions,  just  as  if  it  were  really  so. 

How  adhesions  to  the  International  were  made  may  be  clearly 
seen  from  the  answer  of  the  prisoner  Bastin,  at  the  time  of  the 
trial  of  May,  1870.  "I  am  accused,"  he  said  to  the  president, 
"  of  having  joined  a  secret  society.    I  deny  it  expressly.    True, 


THE  RISE  AND   FALL    OF  THE   INTERNATIONAL.    1 6/ 

I  am  a  member  of  the  International ;  but  it  is  not  a  secret 
society.  The  circumstances  under  which  I  joined  it  are  as 
follows  : — At  the  time  of  the  strike  of  the  ironfounders,  one  of 
our  friends  said  to  us  at  a  meeting,  '  We  have  formed  a  society 
of  resistance,  but  we  have  something  more  to  do,  and  that  is, 
to  join  the  International.'  He  then  read  the  statutes  to  us, 
and  we  recognized  that  they  were  good,  and  that  there  would 
be  no  harm  in  joining.  The  matter  was  put  to  the  vote,  and 
to  the  number  of  1200  we  joined  the  International."  Another 
prisoner,  Duval,  the  future  general  of  the  Commune,  repeated 
a  similar  case  :  "  Thirty-six  of  our  masters,  out  of  forty-seven, 
refused  our  claims.  Several  of  them  replied,  '  We  shall  wait, 
untrTyou  are  starving.'  In  the  face  of  this  contemptuous 
treatment,  the  next  meeting  voted  and  signed  a  strike  a 
outran ce.  We  swore  on  our  honour  not  to  take  work  until 
our  claims  had  been  admitted.  A  motion  was  made  with 
regard  to  the  International.  The  eight  or  nine  hundred 
members  present  joined  in  a  body,  signed  their  adhesion 
during  the  sitting,  and  straightway  appointed  four  delegates 
to  represent  them  at  the  federal  council  of  Paris." 

In  the  month  of  July,  1869,  the  silk-winders  of  Lyons  went 
out  on  strike.  Their  committee  wrote  to  the  general  council 
of  London,  to  signify  their  adhesion  to  the  International  in 
theiFowh  name,  and  in  that  of  the  8000  members  of  their 
bodyT  They  added,  "  that  in  order  to  keep  within  the  French 
law,  the  new  adherents  would  not  constitute  any  organization 
in  France.  They  would  simply  send  their  annual  subscription 
as  a  lump  sum  to  the  general  council."  In  Belgium  the 
woollen  operatives  of  Verviers,  the  cotton-hands  of  Ghent,  the 
miners  of  Hainault,  and  the  workers  in  a  large  number  of 
the  trades  of  Brussels  joined  in  the  mass.  A  Flemish  journal, 
the  Werker,  was  started.  Holland  was  invaded  in  its  turn.  The 
German  associations  assembled  at  Nuremberg  were  affiliated. 
In  Italy,  as  in  France,  prosecutions  only  drew  the  attention 
of  working  men  to  the  International.  It  gained  a  footing  in 
Vienna,  where  the  Wiener  Arbeiter-Zeitiing  was  established,  also 
at  Pesth,  and  in  the  principal  towns  of  Spain,  while  it  extended 
its  ramifications  in  America  as  far  as  California.     The  reports 


1 68  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

read  at  the  first  sittings  of  the  Congress  of  Bale  stated  all 
this  progress.  The  Times  wrote  on  the  subject :  "  We  must 
go  back  to  the  origin  of  Christianity  or  to  the  epoch  of  the 
barbarian  invasions  to  meet  with  a  movement  analogous  to 
that  of  the  working  men  to-day,  and  it  seems  to  threaten 
existing  civilization  with  a  fate  similar  to  that  inflicted  by  the 
northern  hordes  on  the  ancient  world."  It  was,  in  truth,  the 
moment  of  expansion,  soon  to  be  followed  by  a  no  less  rapid 
decay. 

The  Congress  of  Bale,  which  held  its  sittings  from  the  5th 
to  the  12th  of  September,  1869,  had  nothing  fierce  about  it.  It 
borrowed  from  the  beautiful  country,  which  it  had  honoured 
with  its  choice,  that  idyllic  character  which  all  its  meetings 
spontaneously  took.  The  delegates,  eighty  in  number,  were 
received  by  the  members  of  both  town  and  country  sections  in 
Bale  at  the  Cafe  Natmial.  A  procession  of  about  two  thousand 
persons  marched  with  music  and  banners  across  the  town  to 
the  garden  of  a  brasserie,  where  each  took  his  place  while  the 
society  of  the  Griitli  sang.  The  address  of  welcome  to 
the  delegates  was  pronounced  by  citizen  Bauhin,~who  was  at 
the  same  time  president  of  the  Bale  sections  and  attorney- 
general  of  the  canton — a  combination  of  functions  which 
appears  to  have  caused  no  astonishment. 

After  hearing  the  reports,  the  congress  took  up  again  the 
questions  already  decided  at  Brussels,  namely,  the  question  of 
landed  property  and  that  of  societies  for  strikes.  They  were 
naturally  determined  in  the  same  way  by  fifty-four  ayes  against 
four  noes,  and  thirteen  abstentions.  The  following  resolution 
1  was  adopted  : — "The  congress  declares  that  society  has  the 
right  of  abolishing  individual  property  in  the  soil  and  of  assign- 
ing it  to  the  community."  It  is  a  strange  thing  that  no  congress 
I  of  the  International  ever  yet  concerned  itself  with  houses  and 
industrial  capital,  factories,  buildings,  machines,  floating  capital. 
In  the  speeches  it  is  often  said  that  the  labourer  ought  to  be 
the  owner  of  the  instrument  of  his  labour ;  but  how,  by  virtue 
of  what  arrangements,  and  of  what  industrial  organization  ? — 
this  seems  never  to  have  troubled  them  at  all. 

M.  Tolain  spoke  in  favour  of  individual  property.     Your 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 69 

collectivity,  he  said,  is  an  unknown  abstraction,  and  yet  you 
seek  to  impose  it  on  us.  The  individual  is  the  only  concrete 
thing,  and  everything  inconsistent  with  his  free  developraejit 
isT)ad.  We  find  in  everybody  the  wish  to  be  his  own  master 
and  to  enjoy  his  independence.  In  attributing  all  the  evils  of 
humanity  to  the  right  of  property,  you  are  taking  effect  for 
cause.  Will  the  collectivity  have  more  intelligence  than  the 
individual  in  directing  profitable  works?  Is  it  not  to  individual 
initiative  that  all  progress  is  due  ?  M.  Tolain  was  only  a 
"mutualist,"  not  a  ''collectivist." 

Another  Frenchman,  named  Langlois,  a  former  disciple  of 
Proudhon,  and  delegate  of  the  metal-turners,  while  claiming 
that  rents  should  belong  to  the  State,  uttered  some  prophetic 
words  :   "  Socialism  will  be  ruined,  through  alienating  all  the 
country  populations,  if  the  decisions  taken  at  Brussels,  in  their 
absence  and  without  consulting  them,  are  to  be  maintained. 
We  shall  see  once  more,  as  in  1848,  the  peasants  rising  in  a 
body  against  the  town  labourers  and  rendering  illusory  the 
triumph  of  the  revolution.     If  you  were  masters  would  you  be 
ready  to  effect  any  work  likely  to  live.'*     The  State  as  collective  /,' 
proprietor  of  the  land,  would  mean  a  State  that  would  force  | 
everybody  to  work,  that  would  enrol  armies  of  labourers  by  i 
squads  under  the  command  of  engineers  and  overseers,  and  | 
that  would  create  a  hierarchy  of  forced  labour.     Is  this  result 
so  desirable  that  to  attain  it  we  ought  to  sacrifice  liberty  ?  " 

A  delegate  of  Brussels,  Cesar  De  Paepe,  made  a  report  on 
this  subject  which  indicates  a  close  study  of  economic  facts 
and  theories.  It  enables  us  to  see  in  what  Collectivism  differs 
from  Communism,  In  the  CoUectivist  system,  neither  the  State 
nor  the  Commune  conducts  operations.  The  State  preserves 
the  eminent  domain,  but  it  abandons  the  management  of  labour 
to  co-operative  societies,  under  certain  conditions,  such  as  pay- 
ment of  a  rent,  security  against  dilapidations,  and  equitable 
rules.  With  regard  to  railways,  for  instance,  when  the  State 
at  once  owns  and  works  them,  as  in  Belgium,  it  is  a  case  of 
Communism ;  but  when  it  makes  a  concession  of  the  working 
of  its  property,  as  is  desired  in  Italy,  it  is  Collectivism.  With 
respect   to  the  remuneration  of  labour,  Communism  desires 


.  I 

i    ; 


170  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

equality,  or  even  the  application  of  the  maxim,  "to  each 
according  to  his  needs ; "  while  Collectivism  claims  to  assure 
to  every  one  the  integral  enjoyment  of  the  product  of  his  labour. 
Thus  the  true  and,  in  reality,  the  sole  incentive  to  economical 
activity,  namely,  personal  interest,  which  is  entirely  abolished 
by  the  first  system,  is  in  some  degree  maintained  by  the  second. 
The  principle  of  Communism  leads  to  consumption  in  common, 
as  in  the  family,  or  rather  as  in  the  convent  or  the  barracks  ; 
while  Collectivism  is  consistent  with  the  separate  existence  of 
families.  Communists  would  absolutely  abolish  the  right  of 
hereditary  succession  ;  whereas  CoUectivists  preserve  It  as  to 
everything  not  belonging  to  the  State. 

The  question  of  the  right  of  succession  was  keenly  discussed 
at  the  Congress  of  Bale.  The  CoUectivists,  represented  chiefly 
by  De  Paepe,  invoked  the  very  strong  arguments  habitually 
made  use  of  in  favour  of  the  hereditary  transmission  of  property. 
Suppose  a  person  makes  himself  a  fortune  by  deductions,  not 
out  of  the  produce  of  another  person's  labour,  but  out  of  that 
of  his  own,  and  by  depriving  himself  of  certain  pleasures ;  is  it 
not  fair  that  he  should  be  able  to  transmit  his  savings  to  his 
children  ?  Will  not  this  power  evidently  be  an  incentive  to 
work  and  a  check  upon  squandering,  and  therefore  a  gain  to 
society  as  a  whole  ?  If  everybody  receives  a  thorough  educa- 
tion and  the  means  of  production,  individual  inheritance  cannot 
violate  rational  equality.  Although  there  was  a  strong  current 
of  Communism  in  the  congress,  the  abolition  of  the  right  of 
inheritance  obtained  only  thirty-two  votes  out  of  sixty-eight, 
and  consequently  it  was  treated  as  rejected. 

It  would  interrupt  this  rapid  sketch  of  events  too  much  to 
discuss  thoroughly  the  theoretical  ideas  admitted  by  the  Inter- 
national. I  shall  limit  myself  to  two  summary  remarks.  The 
new  social  organization,  longed  for  by  Collectivism,  supposes 
that  agricultural  and  industrial  enterprises  would  pass  into  the 
hands  of  autonomous  co-operative  associations.  But  will  these 
associations  be  able  to  subsist  on  an  exclusively  republican 
and  elective  basis,  without  the  principle  of  authority  and  of 
the  hierarchy  at  present  represented  by  the  master?  In  the 
factory,  as  on  board  ship,  discipline  and  obedience  are  indis- 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL    OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL,     lyi 

pensable.       How  are   they  to   be   preserved   among   equals? 
To-day  the  employer  expels  the  workman  who  does  not  work  : 
this  is  the  stimulus.     In  the  new  social  organization  expulsion 
can  hardly  be  included ;  must  recourse,  then,  be  had  to  the 
prison  ?     At  present  the  proprietor  is  interested  in  preserving 
his  capital  and  in  improving  his  apparatus.     The  co-operative 
members  will  be  much  less  interested,  since  they  will  be  only 
usufructuaries,  and  the  responsibility  for  deteriorations  will  fall 
on  society  in  general.     At  bottom  the  economic  problem„i§ 
nothing  but  the  organization  of  responsibility  and  of  justice. 
The'  Collectivists  are  ready  to  swear  by  Darwin  :  they  ought, 
then,  to  admit  that,  in  the  struggle  for  existence,  the  best  con- 
stituted organisms  will  at  last  prevail.    Let  instruction  be  given 
to  the  working  man,  and  every  possible  facility  for  forming  pro- 
ductive societies  :  when  they  shall  thus  have  "  fair  play,"  if 
Collectivism  is  worth  more  than  IndividuaHsm,  their  associations 
will  supplant  private  enterprises,  and  the  new  re'gime  will  be 
established  by  a  gradual  and  slow  evolution,  just  as  all  economic 
transformations  are  made.     If,  on  the  contrary,  their  principle 
is  inferior  in  respect  of  the  stimulus  to  activity  of  labour,  to  the 
formation  of  capital,  and  to  industrial  progress,  even  should 
they  succeed  in  establishing  it  by  a  forcible  revolution,  it  would 
not  last :  it  would  disappear,  as  every  inferior  organism  suc- 
cumbs when  placed  in  contact  with  a  superior  organism. 

The  Communists  demand  the  abolition  of  hereditary  suc- 
cession. This  is  no  new  thing ;  it  has  already  been  tried.  In 
the  Middle  Ages  there  was  no  succession  in  the  case  of  the 
serfs  in  mortmain.  In  order  to  defeat  the  claims  of  the 
superior  lord,  they  formed  themselves  into  corporations.  These 
co-operative  societies  were  perpetual  civil  persons  who  con- 
tinued in  possession  without  interruption,  and  thus  there  was 
no  inheritance.  The  same  system  exists  to-day  among  the 
Southern  Slavs.  Hereditary  succession  only  applies  to  strictly 
personal  effects.  Land  and  all  the  instruments  of  labour  are 
the  collective  property  of  groups  in  which  deaths  never  cause 
a  succession.  Is  not  this  the  ideal  that  certain  Collectivists 
have  in  view  ?  How  comes  it  that  it  has  vanished  at  the  touch 
of  modern  civilization,  and  that  it  is  even  now  disappearing  in 


1/2  -THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

those  distant  countries  where  it  had  been  kept  up  ?  Is  not 
this  another  appUcation  of  the  Darwinian  law  ?  It  may  per- 
haps be  objected  that  monasteries,  where  reigns  not  merely 
Collectivism,  but  absolute  Communism,  have  grown  prodigiously 
in  numbers  and  in  wealth.  This  is  true;  but  there  we  find 
celibacy  in  this  world  and  a  vision  of  heaven  in  the  next,  facts 
which  make  all  the  difference.  Moreover,  is  it  to  monasticism 
that  the  Congress  of  Bale  wished  to  lead  humanity  ? 

It  was  at  this  same  congress  that  Bakunin,  who  was  going 
to  launch  the  International  on  a  decidedly  revolutionary  course, 
first  appeared  on  the  scene.  The  Russian  agitator  represented 
at  once  the  silk-winders  of  Lyons  and  the  machinists  of  Naples. 
This  was  Internationalism  in  practice.  He  did  not  trouble 
himself  in  seeking  after  new  forms  for  the  society  of  the  future. 
The  sole  end  to  pursue  was,  he  said,  the  destruction,  root 
and  branch,  of  the  existing  social  order.  Out  of  the  ruins 
there  would  arise,  by  virtue  of  spontaneous  generation,  a  better 
organization.  "  I  desire,"  he  added,  "  the  application  of  the 
collective  principle,  not  merely  to  land,  but  to  all  kinds  of 
property,  by  means  of  a  universal  social  liquidation  ;  and  by 
social  liquidation  I  mean  the  abolition  of  the  political  and 
juridical  State.  The  individual  depends  upon  the  collectivity, 
\i  and  individual  property  is  nothing  else  than  "the  iniquitous 
I  appropriation  of  the  fruits  of  collective  labour.  I  call  for  the 
destruction  of  all  national  and  territorial  States,  and,  upon 
their  ruins,  the  foundation  of  an  international  State  composed 
of  the  millions  of  workers.  It  will  be  the  role  of  the  Inter- 
national to  constitute  this  State  by  the  "  solidarization  "  of  the 
Communes  throughout  the  world,  and  this  presupposes  a  re- 
organization of  society  from  top  to  bottom."  Thus  there  are 
to  be  no  more  nations,  no  more  States,  no  more  political  or 
judicial  institutions,  no  more  private  property,  no  God,  no 
;  religious  worship,  not  even  any  free  and  independent  indi- 
!J  viduals.  Total  destruction  of  all  that  exists,  and,  in  the  new 
world,  as  the  organic  cell  and  primordial  element  of  recon- 
struction, not,  as  before,  the  human  personality,  but  the 
"  amorphous  "  (shapeless)  Commune,  and  thus  humanity  is  to 
be  rendered  like  a  confused  mass  of  confervce,  or  a  nebula  in 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     lyT, 

process  of  formation.  This,  it  appears,  is  Nihilism.  Here  we 
can  detect  the  origin  of  IHat  tTieory  of  the  autonomous  Com- 
mune which  appeared  at  the  time  of  the  revolution  of  the  iSth 
of  IViarch,  nobody  knew  from  whence.  Foreigners,  and  notably 
Prince  Bismarck,  thought  they  saw  in  it  The  demand  of  greate;r 
independence  for  the  Communes,  a  thing  which  appeared  to 
them  very  much  wanted  in  France,  where  centralization  is 
pushed  to  an  extreme.  Was  it  not,  moreover,  the  reform 
desired  by  Economists,  by  admirers  of  America,  by  neo-con- 
servatives,  in  a  word,  by  all  the  opponents  of  State  omnipo- 
tence ?  In  truth,  it  was  quite  another  matter.  If  we  are  to 
find  any  meaning  in  the  acts  and  manifestoes  of  the  Commune 
of  the  1 8th  of  March,  we  may  discern  there,  it  seems,  the 
reflex  of  the  theories  of  Bakunin. 

During  the  year  1870  the  International  continued  to  grow  \  jl 
and  to  spread.     It  penetrated  to  the  extreme  ends  of  Europe, 
into   Denmark,  into  Portugal,  and  even  across  the  Atlantic.   ,  ; 
Cameron,    delegate   of  the   National  Labour   Union    of    the   \  t 
United   States,   had   brought   to    the    Congress   of    Bale   the    | 
adhesion  of   800,000    "  Unionists."     A  Russian   section  was 
established  in  Switzerland.     At  Pesth  the  Gazette  universelle 
des  travaiUeurs  appeared.     Socialist  newspapers  multiplied  pn 
all  sides,*  and  seemed  to  spring  out  of  the  ground.    Whenever 
a  section  was  formed,  it  immediately  obtained  the  adhesion  of 
the  existing  working   men's    societies,  whatever  their  nature 
might  be.      In  Europe  and  America  the  number  of  simple 
adherents  was  probably  to  be  counted  in  millions.      The  vacil- 
lating policy  of  Napoleon  III.,  which  seemed  to  announce  the 
tottering  and  the  fall  of  the  Imperial  regime,  stirred  the  revo- 
lutionary party  to  activity.     Of  the  two  ideas  which  had  given 
birth  to  the   International,  the"* one' aiming  at  the  raising  of 
wages   by  combinations   and   strikes,  the   other  seeking   the 

*  Such  as  the  Federacion  at  Barcelona,  the  Egiiagliaiiza  at  Naples,  the  ,j 
Jornal  do  trahallio  and  the  Tribima  at  Lisbon,  the  Clamor  do povo  at  Oporto,  | 
the  Internationale  at  Brussels,  the  Mirabeau  at  Verviers,  the  Devoir  at  \ 
Liege,  the  Werkman  at  Amsterdam,  the  Volksblad  at  Rotterdam.  In  \ 
France  there  were  the  Travail,  the  Reforme,  and  the  Tribune  popidaire. 
In  Germany  the  Social  Democratic  party  was  definitively  constituted  at 
Eisenach,  and  started  the  Volksstaat  at  Leipzig. 


174  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

transformation  of  the  social  order,  if  necessary,  by  means  of 
revolution,  it  was  the  latter  which,  from  1869,  got  the  upper 
hand,  and,  as  always  happens,  under  the  most  marked  and 
violent  form. 

Meanwhile  the  International  protested  energetically  against 
the  war  of  1870,  both  at  Paris,  at  London,  and  in  Germany. 
On  the  1 2th  of  July  the  Parisian  federation  published  a  mani- 
festo addressed  to  the  workers  of  all  countries,  but  principally 
to  their  "brothers  of  Germany,"  of  which  the  following  is  an 
extract : — "  To  the  beUicose  cries  of  those  who  are  themselves 
exempt  from  the  blood-tax,  or  who  find  in  the  public  misfor- 
tunes a  source  of  new  speculations,  we  oppose  our  emphatic 
protest,  we  who  wish  for  peace,  labour,  and  liberty.    War  is  the 
///indirect    means  by  which  Governments  stifle  the  liberties  of 
I  lithe   people."     The  general  council,  in  its  turn,   addressed  a 
manifesto  to  the  members  of  the  International  in  Europe  and 
in  the  United  States.     It  was  probably  drawn  up  by  Marx, 
1    and   contains   some  noteworthy  passages.      "  The  people  of 
I    Paris  have  protested  against  the  war  with  so  much  energy  that 
I    the  Prefect  of  Police  has  forbidden  all  expression  of  opinion  in 
the  streets.     Whatever,  then,  may  be  the  issue  of  the  war,  the 
funeral  knell  of  the  Second   Empire  has  already  sounded  in 
i    Paris.  ...  If  the   working   classes   of  Germany  permit   the 
•'    present  war  to  lose  its  purely  defensive  character  and  to  de- 
generate into  an  offensive  war  against  the  people  of  France, 
victory  or  defeat  will  be  equally  disastrous.     All  the  miseries 
that  desolated  Germany  after  its  war  of  independence  will  be 
reproduced  with  accumulated  force."    The  general  council  then 
quoted  several  addresses  to  the  French  working  men  published 
by  German  sections.     At  Chemnitz  50,000  Saxon  working  men 
sent  words  of  sympathy  to  their  French  brothers.  " 

The  Berlin  section,  replying  to  the  Paris  manifesto,  said, 
"With  heart  and  hand  we  adhere  to  your  proclamation.  We 
solemnly  vow  that  neither  beat  of  drum,  nor  thunder  of  cannon, 
nor  victory,  nor  defeat  shall  divert  us  from  our  efforts  to  estab- 
lish the  union  of  the  workers  of  all  countries."  The  manifesto 
added,  "  The  single  fact  that,  while  official  P>ance  and  Germany 
are  rushing  into  a  fratricidal   war,  the  German  and  French 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  TILE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 75 


working  men  are  interchanging  messages  of  peace  and  brother 
hood — this  grand  fact,  without  precedent  in  the  history  of  the 
past,  enables  us  to  foresee  a  brighter  future.  It  shows  that 
a  new  society  is  arising  whose  International  role  will  be  peace, 
because  the  basis  of  nations  will  be  everywhere  the  same, 
namely,  labour." 

After  Sedan  and  the  fall  of  the  Empire,  a  movement  of 
sympathy  in  favour  of  the  French  Republic  took  place  in  all 
the~^ections  of  the  International,  even  in  Germany.  On  the 
5th  of  September  the  German  Social  Democrats,  assembled  at 
Brunswick,  published  a  manifesto  containing  the  following 
passage  : — "  It  is  Germany's  interest  to  conclude  a  peace  which 
France  can  accept  with  honour.  It  is  asserted  that  the  annexa- 
tion of  Alsace  and  Lorraine  will  preserve  us  for  ever  from  a  war 
with  France.  It  is,  on  the  contrary,  the  surest  way  to  trans'^ 
form  into  a  European  institution  and  to  perpetuate  in  United 
Germany  the  system  of  military  despotism.  Peace  on  such 
terms  will  be  only  a  truce,  until  France  shall  be  strong  enough 
to  reconquer  her  lost  provinces.  The  war  of  1870  bears  in  its 
train  a  war  between  Germany  and  Russia,  as  certainly  as  the 
war  of  1866  bore  that  of  1870.  Unless  a  revolution  breaks 
out  in  Russia  beforehand,  which  seems  improbable,  the  war 
between  Germany  and  Russia  may  be  looked  upon  as  a  cer- 
tainty. If  we  take  Alsace  and  Lorraine  from  France,  she  will 
ally  herself  to  Russia.  It  would  be  useless  to  point  out  the 
deplorable  consequences."  These  warnings  by  no  means 
pleased  the  general  in  command,  Vogel  von  Falkenstein,  who,  I  j 
by  virtue  of  the  state  of  siege,  sent  the  leaders  to  dream  of  the  1 1 
coming  peace  in  the  casements  of  Konigsberg. 

I  have  endeavoured  by  these  extracts  to  throw  light  on 
the  cosmopolitan  tendency  of  the  International.     It  is,  in  fact,  .  _ 
one  of  the  characteristic  traits  of  modern  Socialism.     It  is  1 1 
clea,rly  derived  from  the  ideas  of  the  Manchester  school  and    i 
ultimately   from   the  teachings   of  Political   Economy,  which 
always  considers  the  good   of  humanity  and   readily  forgets 
the   existence   of    separate    States.      Establish   universal   free 
trade,  say  the  Economists,  abolish  custom-houses  and  stand- 
ing armies,   make   the   laws  everywhere  identical,  and   soon 


^X' 


1/6  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY, 

all  nations  will  form  only  one  single  family.  Capital  and 
labour  will  pass  indifferently  from  one  country  to  another 
in  search  of  the  best  remuneration.  Already  many  English 
people,  taking  the  lead  of  other  nations,  look  upon  the  whole 
globe  as  their  country,  and  pass  the  summer  in  the  Alps,  the 
winter  at  Nice,  or  Cairo,  or  Madeira,  choosing  the  best  climate 
and  the  pleasantest  places.  There  is  no  illusion  about  it. 
/(  We  are  drawing  towards_  cosmopolitanism.  Patriotism  ^„js 
I  everywhere  becoming  less  exclusive  and  consequently  less 
intense.  How  many  people  are  now  ready  to  say,  Ubi  bene, 
ibi patria  /  But  if,  in  this  respect,  the  International  is  inspired 
by  the  present  economic  movement,  and  if  it  execrates  war 
i  between  nations,  we  must  not  forget  that  it  substitutes  the 
universal  strife  of  labour  against  capital.  The  enemy  is  no 
longer  the  foreigner,  but  the  employer,  the  factory  lord.* 
This  is  the  reason  why  these  brotherly  effusions,  that  one 
would  imagine  were  borrowed  from  the  speeches,  suffused 
with  Christianity,  of  the  Peace  Congresses,  are  often  accom- 
panied by  language  of  rage  and  hate  which  calls  to  mind 
the  death-chaunt  of  cannibals. 

What  was  the  part  taken  by  the  International  in  the  revolu- 
tion of  theiStliof  KTarcli  ?  M.  de  Molinari,  who  watched  from 
near  at  hand  the  Socialist  movement  at  Paris,  affirms  that  the 
association,  as  such,  took  no  part  in  it,t  and  all  known  facts 

*  To  quote  one  extract  in  illustration  of  this  phase  of  thought : 
"Fatherland,  a  phrase,  a  folly!  Humanity,  a  fact,  a  truth.  Invented 
by.priei5t_s_and  kings,  like  Jhe   mythical    God,   the   fatherland   has,  only 

Iseryed  for  penning  up  human  cattle  within  separate  enclosures,  where 
they  may  be  shorn  and  bled  under  the  very  hands  of  their  masters,  for 
the  greater  profit  of  these  latter  and  in  the  name  of  the  unclean  fetish. 

"  To-day  we  have  had  enough  of  it.  Nations  are  brothers.  Kings 
and  their  hangers-on  are  the  sole  enemies.  Enough  of  bloodshed,  enough 
of  imbecility.  Nations,  countries  are  no  longer  more  than  words.  France 
is  dead.  Humanity  takes  her  place.  The  Utopia  of  Anacharsis  Clootz  is 
becoming  a  reality.  Nationality,  the  result  of  birth,  is  an  evil.  Let  it 
perish.  To  be  born  in  thTs 'place  or  that,  the  result  of  pure  chance,  decides 
whether  we  are  to  be  friends  or  enemies.  Let  us  repudiate  this  stupicf 
lottery  of  which  we  have  hitherto  been  the  dupes.  Our  country  is  every- 
where, where  we  can  live  and  work  in  freedom.  Peoples,  workers,  the 
light  is  spreading.  Open  your  eyes !  Down  with  the  Despots !  Away 
with  Tyrants!  France  is  dead.  Long  live  humanity!"  (Jules  Nostag, 
alias  Ruffier,  in  the  Rei'olution  politique  et  sociak,  i6th  April,  1871.) 

t  Le  Motivement  socialiste  ct  les  reunions  publiques,  by  M.  de  Alolinari, 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     I'J'J 

seem  to  bear  out  this  opinion.  A  certain  number  of  Inter- 
nationalists figured  among  the  members  of  the  Commune, 
notably  Amouroux,  Avrial,  Beslay,  Dereure,  Frankel,  Malon, 
Pindy,  Varlin,  Serailler,  Theisz,  and  Vaillant ;  but  they  had 
joined  it  on  personal  grounds.  The  ties  which  bound  the 
different  sections  of  the  International  together  were  too  lax 
for  the  requirements  of  revolutionary  action. 

From  the  official  reports  of  the  proceedings  of  the  Inter- 
national during  the  siege  of  Paris  and  the  Commune,  I  glean 
the  following.  In  thesitting  of  the  15th  of  February,  187 1, 
Frankel  said,  "  The  events  since  the  4th  of  September  have 
dispersed  the  International.  We  have  still  a  certain  moral 
force,  if  not  in  France  generally,  at  least  in  Paris  ;  but  for 
the  want  of  organization  we  lack  material  force.  Many  mem- 
bers do  not  grasp  the  aim  of  the  association."  On  the 
ist  of  March  a  commission  was  deputed  to  the  central  com- 
mittee of  the  National  Guard  ;  but  their  action  was  altogether 
individual,  and  they  could  not  speak  in  the  name  of  the  asso- 
ciation. At  another  sitting,  Aubry,  delegate  of  Rouen,  said, 
"  The  revolution  of  the  i8th  of  March  is  altogether  social,  and 
all  the  French  newspapers  mention  the  International  as  having 
seized  powei";  but  we  know  that  this  is  not  the  case."  In  the 
manifesto  to  the  labourers,  voted  at  the  same  sitting,  less 
radical  reforms  are  demanded,   such   as  the  organization  of 

p.  205.  A  confirmation  of  M.  de  Molinari's  opinion  may  be  found  in  a 
very  curious  pamphlet  published  in  London,  in  1872,  by  the  refugees  of 
the  Commune,  namely,  Arnould,  Cournet,  Dereure,  Ranvier,  and  Vaillant. 
It  is  an  indictment  against  the  International.  "  The  International  used  to 
be  thought  powerful  because  it  was  believed  to  represent  the  revolution. 
It  has,  however,  shown  itself  timid,  divided,  parliamentary.  ...  Its 
constitution,  its  mode  of  determining  its  action  by  means  of  a  congress  of 
delegates,  have  made  it  a  parliamentary  rather  than  an  executive  institu- 
tion. .  .  .  P'rom  fear  of  identifying  itself  with  the  principles  of  the  Com- 
mune, it  has  committed  suicide.  .  .  .  Hitherto,  in  spite  of  manifestoes  and 
declarations,  the  different  branches  of  the  International  have  prudently 
abstained  from  the  armed  conflict.  It  was  in  their  individual  capacity  that 
a  few  of  its  members  mingled  with  the  combatants."  It  is  to  he  observed 
that  the  authors  of  this  pamphlet  call  themselves  ex-members  of  the  general 
council  of  the  International.  An  Italian  Socialist,  O.  Gnocchi-Viani,  author 
of  the  book  Le  Tre  Internationale,  has  published  a  pamphlet  entitled 
V Internationale  nella  Comune  di  Parigi,  Milan,  1879,  in  which  he  proves 
the  hostility  that  reigned  between  the  International  and  the  Commune. 

N 


178  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

credit,  free,  secular,  and  compulsory  education,  tlie  right  of 
public  meeting,  freedom  of  association,  liberty  of  the  press, 
and  the  organization  of  public  services  by  municipal  authority. 
The  general  council,  in  its  proclamation  of  the  9th  of  Sep- 
tember, 1870,  urgently  advised  the  labourers  to  respect  the 
government  which  had  been  established,  in  order  to  save  at 
least  the  republic  and  liberty.  "  The  situation  of  the  French 
labourers,"  it  is  there  stated,  *'  is  most  difficult ;  any  attempt 
to  overthrow  the  present  government,  in  the  middle  of  this 
terrible  crisis,  and  while  the  enemy  is  at  the  gates  of  Paris, 
would  be  a  detestable  piece  of  folly."  Marx  did  not  beheve 
in  the  triumph  of  the  Commune,  and  he  said  as  much  in  his 
letters  to  his  French  friends.  On  account  of  this,  the  more 
violent  roundly  accused  the  "German  Jew"  of  having  sold 
himself  to  Bismarck.  About  this  time,  Becker,  a  friend  of 
Marx,  wrote  the  following : — "  The  organization  of  the  prole- 
tariat is  not  sufficiently  complete,  and  the  principles  of  the 
Socialist  democracy  are  not  sufficiently  spread  and  understood 
to  enable  a  red  republic  to  be  firmly  established.  The  radical 
transformation  of  the  old  society  and  the  inauguration  of  a  new 
historic  epoch  require  time ;  it  will  be  the  work  of  successive 
generations." 

After  the  fall  of  the  Commune  several  branches  of  the 
International,  and  even  the  general  council  in  London,  sent 
forth  manifestoes  attesting  their  sympathy  and  admiration  for 
"the  glorious  vanquished."  The  address  of  the  general 
council,  published  on  the  30th  of  May,  under  the  title  La 
Guerre  civile  en  France,  is  a  long  statement  of  the  facts  which 
brought  about  the  revolution  of  the  i8th  of  March.  It  is  a 
curious  apology.  What  the  Commune  wanted,  it  said,  was 
to  establish  a  government  founded  on  truly  democratic  and 
above  all  economic  principles,  by  restoring  to  municipal 
authority  the  too  numerous  functions  exercised  to-day  by 
the  State.  We  are,  then,  asked  to  believe  that  it  was  simply 
a  question  of  imitating  the  system  at  work  in  the  United 
States  and  in  Switzerland.  If  public  monuments  were  burned, 
it  was  as  a  means  of  defence,  just  as  is  done  in  all  wars.  The 
absolute  incapacity  of  the  Commune  in  the  matter  of  social 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL    OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     IJC) 

reforms  is  explained  as  follows  : — "  The  workers  did  not  expect 
miracles  from  the  Commune.  They  had  no  cut-and-dried 
Utopias  to  introduce  by  popular  decree.  They  well  knew 
that,  in  order  to  realize  their  emancipation,  and  at  the  same 
time  to  preserve  the  noble  form  towards  which  actual  society 
is  advancing  by  its  own  economic  forces,  they  would  have  to 
go  through  long  struggles,  and  a  whole  series  of  historic  steps 
which  would  transform  both  circumstances  and  men.  They 
had  not  to  apply  an  ideal,  but  to  free  the  elements  of  the 
new  society  from  the  crumbling  ruins  of  the  old."  We  here 
recognize  Marx  and  the  historico-economic  school,  the  spirit 
of  which  differs  completely  from  that  of  Jacobinism,  which 
imagines  that  a  social  transformation  can  be  improvised  by 
force  of  decrees.  We  may,  however,  reply  to  the  chiefs  of 
the  International,  If  existing  society  must  give  birth  to  the 
society  of  the  future  by  virtue  of  "  its  own  economic  forces," 
and  by '"a  series  of  historic  steps,"  why  employ  violence, 
insurrections,  and  force  ?  You  should  condemn  these  methods 
of  the  old  revolutionaries,  which  lead  to  nothing. 

Soon  the  opposition  between  these  two  doctrines,  the  his- 
torico-scientific  Socialism  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  Socialism 
of  the  ignorant  and  the  violent  on  the  other,  was  to  lead  to  a 
schism  in  the  International,  and  consequently  to  its  fall. 

In  187 1  there  was  no  congress  ;  but  a  conference  of  dele- 
gates assembled  in  London  on  the  27th  of  September.  They 
did  not  occupy  themselves  with  theoretical  questions,  but  with 
the  means  of  propaganda.  They  recommended  the  following  : 
the  study  of  the  best  means  of  attracting  the  rural  labourers, 
the  organization  of  female  sections,  the  international  union  of 
working  men's  associations  by  means  of  trade  corporations,  the 
collection  of  statistics  on  the  position  of  labourers,  and  the 
taking  part  in  politics  by  working  men,  even  in  alliance  with 
middle-class  Radicalism.  This  conference  simply  registered 
the  ideas  of  Marx,  who  in  reality  directed  the  general  council. 
This  was  quite  natural ;  he  was  infinitely  superior  to  his  col- 
leagues by  reason  both  of  his  knowledge  and  of  his  practical  jj 
mind.  But  his  dictatorship  could  not  fail  to  arouse  bitter  oppo-  . 
sition  among  the  numerous  groups,  belonging  as  they  did  to  ( j 


l8o  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

different  nationalities  and  influenced  by  divergent  currents  ot 
thought.  The  signal  for  revolt  was  hoisted  at  Neuchatel. 
Certain  sections  of  working  men  at  Locle  and  at  Chaux-de- 
Fonds,  under  the  direction  of  an  active  leader,  James  Guil- 
laume,  revolted  against  the  excessive  authority  claimed  by  the 
general  council,  and,  separating  themselves  from  the  other  groups 
of  French-speaking  Switzerland,  established  the  Federation  of 
the  Jura.  They  were  called  FederaUsts  or  Autonomists.  The 
Blanquists,  representing  the  Jacobin  tradition,  also  rose  very 
vehemently  against  "  the  German  Jew's  theory  of  historic 
evolution."  Lastly,  the  most  ardent  in  their  opposition  were 
the  Anarchists  who  followed  Bakunin.  At  the  Congress  ofthe 
Peace  League,  which  met  at  Berne  in  1869,  under  the 
presidency  of  Victor  Hugo,  Bakunin  had  proposed  a  vote 
approving  of  atheism  and  communism.  Beaten  by  a  large 
majority,  he  then  founded  the  "  Alliance  of  the  Social  Demo- 
cracy." On  the  other  hand,  the  general  council  forbade  the 
sections  of  the  International  to  take  any  particular  name,  and 
reserved  to  itself  the  right  of  suspending  or  dissolving  any 
sections  disobeying  this  order. 

The  Congress  of  the  Hague  (from  the  2nd  to  the  7th  of 
September,  1872)  was  the  battle-field  where  these  opposing 
tendencies  clashed  together.  There  were  sixty-five  delegates, 
of  whom  four  represented  Holland,  eight  Belgium,  two 
Denmark,  eight  Germany,  seven  Switzerland,  eleven  France, 
four  Spain,  one  Portugal,  one  Hungary,  ten  England,  one 
Ireland,  six  America,  and  one  Australia,  The  fight  arose  on 
the  question  of  the  powers  of  the  general  council,  the 
'  Autonomists  wishing  to  reduce  it  to  a  mere  committee  of 
inquiry.  Guillaume  attacked  Marx  to  his  face.  "There 
are  some,"  he  said,  "who  assert  that  the  International  is  the 
invention  of  a  clever  man,  endowed  with  infallibility  in  all 
social  and  political  matters,  whom  nobody  has  any  right  to 
oppose.  Our  association  would  therefore  have  merely  to  obey 
the  despotic  commands  of  a  council  formed  to  maintain  this 
new  orthodoxy.  According  to  us,  on  the  contrary,  the 
International  sprang  spontaneously  from  the  economic  cir- 
cumstances   of  the   times,   and  we   want  no  Pope  to  judge 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     l8l 

our  heresies."  Marx  carried  the  majority  with  him ;  and  the 
general  council,  far  from  being  suppressed,  was  given  the  right 
of  suspending  sections  and  even  federations,  saving  appeal  to 
congress.  This  decision  excited  the  warmest  protests.  The 
Blanquists,  including,  Ranvier,  Cournet,  and  Vaillant,  left  the 
congress.  Then  followed  an  inquiry  into  the  case  of  Bakunin 
and  Guillaume.  Both  were  declared  excluded,  as  having  been 
shown  to  belong  to  "  the  Alliance,"  a  secret  society  founded  on 
statutes  completely  opposed  to  those  of  the  International. 
Marx"also  obtained  a  decision  that  the  seat  of  the  general 
council  should  be  transferred  to  New  York,  He  hoped  thus  to 
take  it  away  from  the  causes  of  division  which  threatened  it  in 
Europe.  The  reason  he  gave  was  that  this  would  be  a  means 
of  gaining  over  the  working  men  of  the  United  States,  who  in 
that  democratic  republic,  would  be  able  to  get  possession  of 
the  power,  and  thus  give  practical  effect  to  social  reforms. 

The  Congress  of  the  Hague  gave  the  death-blow  to  the  Inter- 
national.    As  in  the  midst  of  the  Paris  Commune,  personal 
jealousies  did  their  usual  work  of  disorganization.     Those  who, 
taking  no  account  of  natural  necessities,  wish  to  completely     ; 
eliminate  the  principle  of  authority,  are  instantly  punished  for  \  \ 
their  folly  by  the  ruin  of  their  work.     It  is  in  the  nature  of  '^( 
things  that  the  most  capable  should  succeed  to  the  direction 
and   command.     If  tlie  ignorant,  who  are  also  the  envious, 
resist,  anarchy  and  disintegration  ensue. 

Immediately  after  the  Congress  of  the  Hague,  "the  Juras- 
sians  "  raised  the  standard  of  revolt.  They  convoked  at  St. 
Imier  a  separatist  congress,  which  declared  that  it  refused  to 
abide  by  the  decisions  of  the  Hague,  and  that  it  continued  to 
consider  Bakunin  and  Guillaume  as  members  of  the  Inter- 
national. On  the  other  hand,  the  new  general  council,  having 
removed  to  New  York,  pubhshed,  on  the  20th  of  October,  1872, 
an  address  in  which  it  explained  the  necessity  of  a  central 
power,  and  endeavoured  to  show  that  the  struggle  against  the 
organized  forces  of  the  bourgeoisie  could  not  be  carried  on 
under  the  banner  of  "  anarchy."  Nevertheless,  the  resistance 
against  this  far-seated  authority,  which"  resembled  a  new 
papacy,  j^became  general.     Guillaume,  in  a  pamphlet  entitled 


1 82  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

"  The  International  Federation  of  the  Jura,"  summed  up  the 
grievances  of  the  Autonomists.  The  general  council  replied  by 
excommunications.  It  excluded  in  succession  the  women's 
association  founded  in  New  York  by  Mrs.  Woodhull  and  Mrs. 
Clafflin,  the  two  priestesses  of  Free  Love,  the  Belgian  federation 
of  Brussels,  the  Spanish  federation  of  Cordova,  and  that  ot 
London,  all  of  which  had  decided  to  reject  the  decisions  of  the 
Hague,  and  it  refused  to  recognize  an  Italian  federation  which 
had  not  conformed  to  the  statutes.  The  International  of  Marx 
thus  lost,  little  by  little,  all  influence  in  the  Latin  countries. 
There  only  remained  a  few  of  the  faithful  in  Fngland,  Germariy, 
and  America.  In  order  to  rally  its  scattered  forces,  it  convoked 
a  general  congress  at  Geneva,  for  the  8th  of  September,  1873. 
On  their  side,  the  dissenting  Autonomists  decided  to  assemble 
in  the  same  town,  on  the  2nd  of  September.  We  have,  there- 
fore, two  Internationals  face  to  face. 

Twenty-eight  delegates  attended  the  congress  of  Autono- 
mists. They  commenced  by  reading  reports  on  the  situation 
in  the  different  countries.  The  representative  of  Spain,  Farga 
Pelissier,  was  the  only  one  who  could  give  favourable  news. 
There  were,  he  said,  more  than  seven  hundred  different 
associations  there  with  fifty  thousand  members,  and  soon  the 
working  men  in  the  large  towns  would  rise  en  masse  to  bring 
about  the  triumph  of  anarchy.  It  was  evident  that  Bakunin 
was  the  aposde  of  Socialism  in  Spain.*  The  news  from  other 
countries  was  discouraging.  The  divisions  among  the  leaders 
had  arrested  the  propaganda.  The  debates  in  the  congress  were 
uninteresting.  The  Autonomists  had  no  difficulty  in  making 
their  ideas  prevail,  and  the  general  council  was  abolished 
amid  the  enthusiastic  applause  of  the  assembly.  No  more 
authority,    no    more    directorship,    such   is    the   ideal.     Each 

*  As  early  as  1871  and  1872,  such  an  active  socialistic  propagandism 
was  carried  on  in  Spain  that  the  Minister  for  Foreign  Afiairs  of  King 
Amadeo  sent  to  all  the  diplomatic  agents  a  circular  note,  dated  the  9th  of 
February,  1872,  proposing  that  the  Governments  should  take  common  action 
to  suppress  the  movement  everywhere.  Lord  Granville  in  reply  pointed 
out,  as  an  objection  to  this  proposal,  that  the  laws  of  England  admitted  the 
right  of  asylum,  and  the  project  of  a  crusade  fell  through.  The  disturb- 
ances of  which  the  peninsula  was  soon  afterwards  the  theatre,  prove, 
however,  that  the  danger  was  not  imaginary. 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 83 

congress  is  to  fix  the  place  where  the  next  congress  shall  meet, 
and  the  federation  there  shall  take  charge  of  the  correspon- 
dence, serve  as  intermediary  and  prepare  questions  for 
discussion.  No  contribution  shall  be  demanded.  In  short, 
no  government,  no  budget.  They  almost  attained  the  absolute 
perfection  which  consists  in  abolishing  everything. 

Van  den  Abeele  raised  an  objection.  "  We  Hollanders," 
he  said,  "are  partisans  of  the  experimental  method.  A  central 
power  is  a  bad  thing.  Let  us  try  the  formation  of  three 
committees.  I  admit  the  principle  of  anarchy ;  but  are  we 
strong  enough  to  apply  it  forthwith  ?  "  "  What  ! "  replied  the 
French  delegate,  Brousse,  "  you  wish  to  destroy  this  authoritarian 
structure  ?  Anarchy  is  your  programme,  and  yet  you  shrink 
before  the  consequences  of  your  principles  !  Another  blow, 
and  the  whole  pile  will  tumble."  They  worked,  in  fact,  to 
bury  their  association.  Their  principles  were  about  to  produce 
the  natural  results.  From  impotence  they  were  going  to  pass 
to  non-existence. 

Eccarius,  the  former  lieutenant  of  Marx,  from  whom  he  had 
recently  separated,  and  the  only  person  of  any  weight  among  the 
"  autonomists  "  present,  summed  up  the  history  of  the  Inter- 
national in  a  few  words  of  his  closing  address.  "  The  old 
International,  the  first  stone  of  which  was  laid  at  St.  Martin's 
Hall  on  the  28th  of  September,  1864,  and  the  building  of  which  j  \ 
was  completed  at  the  Congress  of  Geneva  in  1866,  has  ceased  ' ' 
to  exist.  That  which  we  now  establish  is  entirely  distinct  from 
it.  The  initiative  came  from  the  trades  unions  of  London,  who 
wished  us  to  concern  ourselves  with  politics,  and  the  Proud- 
honians,  who  wished  us  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  them. 
The  former  desired  to  apply  the  principles  of  trades  unionism, 
that  is  to  say,  the  rising  of  wages  by  means  of  combinations  and 
strikes  ;  whereas  the  latter  sought  to  realize  their  theories  of 
social  reconstruction.  At  Bale,  the  Proudhonians  succumbed, 
but  at  the  same  time  the  unionist  element  was  destroyed  by 
personal  rivalries  among  the  members  of  the  general  council. 
At  Paris,  on  the  other  hand,  the  unionists  carried  the  day  over 
the  heads  of  the  Proudhonians.  In  1870  a  reconciliation 
might  perhaps  have  been  brought  about,  but  the  outbreak  of 


1 84  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  war  put  obstacles  in  the  way.  Aheady,  before  the  Congress 
of  the  Hague,  the  council  was  divided  into  two  hostile  parties, 
and  when  it  obtained  the  right  of  exclusion,  it  gave  the  death- 
blow to  the  old  Association." 

The  International  of  the  Marxists  held  its  session  from 
the  8th  to  the  13th  of  September.  Marx  himself  took  no  part 
in  it.  There  were  only  about  thirty  delegates,  representing 
Germany,  France,  England,  Switzerland,  and  Holland.  The 
fact  that  Germany,  where  Socialism  was  making  such  prodigious 
strides,  was  represented  by  only  one  delegate,  Burckhart,  proves 
what  little  influence  the  association  exercised.  Two  principal 
questions  were  debated  :  first,  ought  the  working  classes  to 
take  part  in  political  contests,  or  to  abstain  and  silently 
prepare  the  way  for  the  social  revolution  ?  It  was  decided, 
as  had  been  done  before,  that  they  ought  to  engage  in  politics, 
and,  if  need  be,  unite  with  the  middle  classes  to  obtain  any 
reforms  useful  to  the  workers.  Secondly,  it  was  resolved  that 
working  men  ought  to  associate  everywhere  in  trade  corpora- 
tions, which  should  form  national  federations,  these  federa- 
tions themselves  uniting  so  as  to  keep  up  a  universal  league 
in  each  trade.  It  would  be  the  part  of  this  league  to  give 
constant  information  as  to  the  state  of  labour,  and  to  defend 
the  interests  of  labour  in  the  different  countries.  This,  as  may 
be  seen,  is  the  parent  idea  of  the  International,  reappearing 
in  a  specialized  form  and  applied  to  each  trade.  This  congress 
was  the  last  organized  by  the  Marxists.  Their  leader,  the 
author  of  the  famous  book.  Das  Kapital,  seems  since  then 
to  have  retired  completely  from  active  life,  in  order  to  prepare, 
in  his  retreat  in  London,  the  second  volume  of  his  work."  * 

The  Autonomists  convened  a  general  assembly  at  Brussels 
on  the  7th  of  November,  1874.  From  the  official  report  it 
appears  that  the  assembly  was  international  in  name  alone. 
There  were  only  about  twenty  delegates,  all  Belgians,  except 
Gomez  for  Spain,  Switzguebel  for  the  Federation  of  the  Jura, 

*  [This  had  not  been  published  at  the  time  of  Marx's  death  (14th  of  March, 
1883)  ;  but  it  is  believed  that  he  had  practically  completed  the  second 
volume  and  had  commenced  the  third.  These  two  volumes  will,  it  is  said, 
be  brought  out  by  Friedrich  Engels. — 7>.] 


niE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL,     1 85 

and  Eccarius  for  the  Bethnal  Green  branch  in  London.  The 
report  contains  a  remarkable  address  from  the  "  ItaUan  Com- 
mittee for  the  Social  Revolution."  This  address  gives  a 
faithful  picture  of  the  peculiar  character  of  the  Socialist  move- 
ment in  Italy,  and  it  further  proves  that  it  is  not  well  to 
exclude  such  a  movement  from  common  rights,  by  depriving 
it  of  the  power  of  acting  openly.  The  address  contains  the 
following  extracts  : — "  The  Italian  masses,  being  inclined  to 
conspiracy,  accept  the  International  only  with  great  distrust 
.  .  .  tHis  organization  in  the  light  of  day  is  absurd.  .  .  . 
Freedom  ofspeech,  the  right  of  assembly,  liberty  of  the  press, 
and  all  the  other  liberties  inscribed  on  the  Italian  Statute-book, 
are  so  many  snares  of  which  our  enemies  know  how  to  make 
use.  Therefore,  from  all  parts  the  demand  arises  for  a  radical 
change  of  system,  and  already  a  vast  and  solid  revolutionary 
Socialist  conspiracy  is  beginning  to  push  its  roots  down  to  the 
lowest  stratum  of  the  Italian  proletariat.  .  .  .  Wholesale  sup- 
pression, decreed  by  the  government,  has  led  us  to  an  abso- 
lutely secret  conspiracy.  As  this  organization  is  far  superior 
to  the  former  one,  we  may  congratulate  ourselves  that  persecu- 
tions have  put  an  end  to  the  public  International.  We  shall 
continue  to  march  along  the  secret  path  that  we  have  adopted, 
as  the  only  one  which  can  lead  us  to  our  final  goal,  the  Social 
revolution."  Suppression  tried  in  Germany  has  had  similar 
results.  Socialism,  instead  of  acting  openly,  has  been  trans- 
formed into  a  conspiracy,  the  advance  of  which  is  equally 
rapid,  as  the  recent  elections  have  shown,  and  the  danger  of 
which  is  far  more  real.  Liberty  has  a  double  advantage :  it 
soon  reveals  the  impotence  and  the  nothingness  of  false 
doctrines  ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  it  warns  Conservatives  to 
keep  on  their  guard  and  to  introduce  reforms  demanded  by 
justice  and  the  general  weal. 

The  eighth  congress,  which  met  at  Berne,  on  the  26th 
October,  1876,  was  no  more  International  than  the  j)receding. 
It  was  composed  almost  exclusively  of  delegates  from  the 
Federation  of  the  Jura,  to  whom  were  added  a  Belgian,  two 
Spaniards,  two  Frenchmen,  and  some  Italians.  The  reports 
from  the  different  countries  stated  that  the  International  saw 


1 86  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

its  numbers  diminishing  on  all  sides.  The  void  was  coming. 
The  famous  Association  was  dying.  To  save  it,  it  was  resolved 
to  convoke  for  next  year,  at  Ghent,  a  universal  congress  of 
Socialism.  It  was  hoped  that  in  this  way  they  might  regain 
lost  ground.  In  the  report  I  find  nothing  Avorth  mentioning 
except  a  discussion  between  the  Belgian  delegate,  Cesar  de 
Paepe,  who  defended  the  State,  and  the  Italian  delegate, 
Malatesta,  who  in  the  name  of  the  "anarchists"  demanded  its 
abolition.  It  is  curious  to  observe  how  far  the  anarchist 
ideas  resemble  those  of  the  rigid  economists.  "  Society,"  says 
Malatesta,  "  is  not  an  artificial  aggregation  brought  about  by 
force,  or  by  the  contact  of  individuals  by  nature  mutually  re- 
pellent. It  is  a  living  organic  body,  of  which  men  are  the 
cellules,  contributing  individually  and  collectively  to  the  life 
and  growth  of  the  whole.  It  is  regulated  by  laws  which  are 
immanent,  necessary,  and  immutable,  as  are  all  natural  laws. 
There  is  no  social  pact,  but  there  is  certainly  a  social  law. 
What,  then,  is  the  State  ?  An  excrescence  " — the  economists 
say  a  canker — "  which  lives  at  the  expense  of  the  social  body, 
and  which  has  no  other  object  and  no  other  effect  than  to 
organize  and  keep  up  the  exploitation  of  the  workers.  This 
is  our  reason  for  wishing  to  destroy  the  State.     How,  then, 

\  shall  society  be  organized?     We  cannot  know.     We  utterly 

'  distrust  all  Utopian  solutions.  Nor  do  we  want  any  artificial, 
fantastic,  anti-scientific  Socialism,  nor  any  "  Sociahsm  of  the 

,  study,"   and  we  shall  oppose  such    Socialism   as   reactionary. 

■'  Our  single  aim  must  be  to  destroy  the  State.  It  will  then 
be  for  the  free  and  fertile  action  of  the  natural  laws  of  Society 
to  accomplish  the  destinies  of  humanity."  This  is  an  ex- 
pression of  the  ideas  which  tend  more  and  more  to  predominate 
among  Socialists  in  France,  Italy,  and  Spain.  The  influence 
of  positivism  and  Herbert  Spencer  is  manifest. 

Before  attending  the  universal  congress  at  Ghent  the 
Anarchists  assembled  in  Belgium,  at  Verviers,  from  the  5th  to 
the  8th  of  September,  1877.  To  this  assembly, 'which  included 
in  all  about  ten  foreign  delegates,  the  pompous  name  of  the 
"  Ninth  General  Congress  of  the  International  Working  Men's 
Association  "  was  given.     The   questions  discussed  display  a 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 8/ 

curious  simplicity.  For  instance  :  "  In  whatever  country  the 
Proletariat  triumph,  it  is  absolutely  necessary  to  extend  this 
triumph  to  all  other  countries."  It  is  not  said  how.  "  What 
are  the  best  means  of  realizing  as  quickly  as  possible  revolu- 
tionary Socialist  action  ? "  They  pass  to  the  order  of  the 
day.  "  What  are  the  methods  of  propaganda  for  les  compagnons 
d'Egypte  'I  "     The  point  remains  open. 

At  Ghent,  on  the  9th  of  September,  1877,  the  "Universal 
Socialist  Congress "  opened.  A  procession  of  about  four 
thousand  working  men  marched  across  the  town  to  the  sound 
of  "the  Marseillaise,"  with  the  red  flag  borne  in  the  van. 
The  police  did  not  interfere,  and  the  public  looked  on  indiffer- 
ently. Nobody  was  alarmed,  ^and  order  was  not  disturbed 
for  a  moment.  The  sittings  were  declared  public,  but  nobody 
attended,  not  even  the  working  men  enrolled  in  the  Inter- 
national. There  were  forty-six  delegates  belonging  to  different 
nationalities,  but  the  majority  represented  only  insignificant 
groups.  It  was  hoped  to  reconcile  the  Anarchists  and  the 
Authoritarians,  but  a  conflict  soon  arose  on  the  subject  of  the 
State,  and  of  the  part  to  be  taken  by  working  men  in  politics. 
Liebknecht,  deputy  of  the  German  Reichstag,  and  Cesar  de 
Paepe  maintained  that  the  functions  of  the  State  should  be 
extended  ;  that  it  ought  to  become  the  proprietor  of  all  the 
requisites  of  labour,  and  that  in  the  meantime  it  was  the 
working  men's  interest  to  take  part  in  political  struggles 
and  to  obtain  successive  improvements  in  their  lot.  James 
Guillaume,  the  founder  of  the  Federation  of  the  Jura,  defended 
the  thesis  of  the  Autonomists.  Capital  and  productive  wealth 
ought  to  belong  to  societies  of  working  men,  that  is  to  say, 
to  trade  corporations.  This  ideal  can  be  attained  only  by 
revolution.  Working  men  have  nothing  to  expect  from  political  | 
parties,  even  the  most  radical;  they  have  always  deceived  thej 
people  and  used  them  to  their  own  advantage.  The  parlia- 
mentary system  and  universal  suffrage  are  a  snare  and  a 
delusion.  As  to  improvements  in  detail,  they  are  only  a 
danger.  By  giving  a  ce;i-tain  amount  of  satisfaction  to  the 
people,  they  deaden  revolutionary  sentiments. 

De  Paepe,  in  replying  to  James  Guillaume,  reproduced  a 


1 88  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

profound  thought,  admirably  expressed  by  De  Tocqueville,  in 
the  seventeenth  chapter  ol  C Ancien  Regime :  "  When  the  people 
are  overwhelmed  with  misery,  they  are  resigned.  It  is  when 
they  begin  to  hold  up  their  heads  and  to  look  above  them,  that 
they  are  impelled  to  insurrection." 

When  the  votes  were  taken,  the  Anarchists  found  themselves 
in  a  minority.  They  then  declared  that  the  principles  of  the 
two  schools  were  too  opposed  for  common  action,  and  the 
schism  was  definitively  established.  The  anarchical  principle 
had  accomplished  its  work  of  dissolution.  The  second  Inter- 
national disappeared  like  that  of  Marx.,  The  word  is  still 
frequently  employed  to  designate  certain  groups  of  aggressive 
Socialism,  but  there  now  no  longer  exists  any  universal  associa- 
tion to  which  this  name  can  be  apphed.  Its  ghost,  however, 
survives  and  continues  to  act  as  if  it  still  had  some  reality.  It 
is  true,  indeed,  that  the  International  was  never  more  than  a 
shade,  that  is  to  say,  an  idea  which  was  unable  to  take  bodily 
form. 

Let  us  now  sum  up  this  sketch  of  the  rise  and  fall  of  the 
International.  As  one  of  its  leaders,  Eccarius,  said,  it  was 
born  of  the  union  of  two  tendencies  :  that  of  the  English  trades 
unions,  aiming  at  an  increase  of  wages  by  means  of  combina- 
tions and  strikes,  on  the  practical  economic  ground,  and  that 
of  French  and  German  Socialism,  looking  forward  to  a  radical 
change  of  the  existing  social  order.  The  first  of  these  ten- 
dencies predominated  up  to  1869.  Since  then,  and  especially 
after  the  fall  of  the  Commune,  the  revolutionary  element  g'of 
the  upper  hand.  What  made  the  success  of  the  International'^ 
so  rapid  and,  in  appearance,  so  alarming,  was  that  it  answered 
to  that  sentiment  of  discontent  and  revolt  which  has  gradually 
spread  among  the  labouring  classes  of  all  countries.  The 
same  irritations,  the  same  aspirations  everywhere  fermenting, 
it  was  not  difficult  to  establish  among  them  a  bond  of  union ; 
but  the  real  power  at  the  disposal  of  the  Association  was  always 
insignificant.  It  never  knew,  even  approximately,  the  number 
of  its  adherents.  As  M.  Fribourg,  one  of  its  former  members, 
said,  one  affiliated  oneself  to  the  International  "as  one  takes  a 
glass  of  wine."     From  1866  to   1870^  the  greater  number  of 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     1 89 

Working  Men's  Societies  and  of  individual  Socialists  declared 
their  adhesibfi,  and  tliaT'was  all.  Thus,  as  we  have  seen, 
Cameron,  delegate  of  the  United  States  at  the  Congress  of 
Bale,  brought  the  adhesion,  in  a  body,  of  800,000  working 
men,  but  these  adhesions  were  absolutely  platonic.  They 
brought  to  the  Association  neither  authority  nor  money. 

It  is  generally  supposed  that  the  International  played^  an 
important  part  in  the  strikes  which  became  so  numerous  for 
some  years.  This  is  a  mistake.  Very  often,  no  doubt,  those 
on  strike  belonged  nominally  to  the  International.  But,  in  the 
first  place,  the  leaders  of  the  International  looked  upon  a  strike 
only  as  a  makeshift ;  secondly,  they  feared  to  advise  it,  know- 
ing that  a  defeat  would  greatly  injure  their  credit ;  and  lastly, 
they  were  absolutely  deficient  in  resources.*  It  was  not  the 
International  which  fomented  the  strikes;  it  was  the  strikes 
that  developed  the  International. 

The  causes  of  the  rapid  decline  of  the  famous  Association 
are  easy  to  discover,  and  they  are  instructive.  First  of  all,  as 
the  organizer  of  strikes,  its  principal  and  most  practical  end,  it 
proved  itself  timid  and  impotent.  The  various  bodies  of 
working  men  were  not  slow  to  perceive  this,  and  gave  it  up. 
Next,  it  had  taken  for  motto,  "  Emancipation  of  the  workers 
by  the  workers  themselves."  It  was  intended,  then,  to  do 
without  the  bourgeois-radicals,  "  the  palaverers,"  "  the  adven- 
turers," who,  when  the  revolution  was  made,  would  step  into 
power  and  leave  the  working  men  as  they  were  before.  The 
majority  of  the  delegates  were  nevertheless  bourgeois ;  but,  in 
reality,  the  sentiment  of  revolt  against  the  aristocratic  direction 
of  the  more  intelligent  members  always  persisted,  and  it  fastened 
principally  on  Karl  Marx,  the  true  founder  of  the  International, 
and  tlie  only  political  brain  that  it  contained.  But  to  keep  in ' 
existence  a  vast  association  embracing  very  numerous  groups 

*  Some  curious  details  on  this  subject  may  be  found  in  the  works  of  M. 
Oscar  Testut :  V Internationale  au  ban  de  f  Europe  and  V Internationale 
(Paris,  Lachaud,  1873).  On  every  occasion  the  general  council  either 
avowed  that  it  had  no  money,  or  sent  altogether  insignificant  sjms.  The 
poorest  F2nglish  trades  union  has  a  better  filled  treasury.  In  every  congress, 
means  of  collecting  the  subscriptions,  which  were  only  ten  centimes  a  year, 
were  sought  in  vain. 


1 90  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  different  nationalities,  and  influenced  sometimes  by  divergent 
currents  of  ideas,  to  make  use  of  publicity  as  the  sole  means 
of  propaganda,  and  yet  to  escape  the  repressive  laws  of  different 
States,  was  evidently  no  easy  task.  How  could  it  possibly  have 
lasted  after  the  only  man  capable  of  directing  it  had  been 
ostracized  ?  The  cause  of  the  failure  was  not  accidental ;  it 
was  part  of  the  very  essence  of  the  attempt.  The  proletariat 
jwill  not  follow  middle-class  radicals,  because  political  liberties, 
republican  institutions,  and  even  universal  suffrage,  which  the 
latter  claim  or  are  ready  to  decree,  do  not  change  the  relations 
of  capital  and  labour.  On  the  other  hand,  the  working  man  is 
evidently  incapable  of  directing  a  revolutionary  movement  which 
is  to  solve  the  thousand  difificulties  created  by  any  complete 
change  in  the  economic  order.  Revolutionary  Socialism  thus 
leads  to  an  insoluble  dilemma  and  to  practical  impotence, 

A  further  cause  contributed  to  the  rapid  fall  of  the  Inter- 
national, namely,  personal  jealousies.  As  in  the  midst  oT^tlie 
Commune  of  187 1,  there  were  divisions  of  opinion,  there  were 
suspicions  and  hard  words,  and  soon  followed  final  secessions. 
No  authority  was  set  over  it ;  all  understanding  became  im- 
possible ;  the  association  fell  to  pieces  in  anarchy,  and,  to  use 
a  vulgar  but  expressive  word,  in  a  "mess."  There  is  yet 
another  warning.  What !  you  want  to  abolish  the  State  and 
suppress  the  industrial  head,  and  you  count  upon  order  arising 
spontaneously  from  the  free  action  of  federal  corporations  ? 
But  if  you,  who  constitute  apparently  the  pick  of  the  working 
class,  if  you  were  unable  to  come  to  a  sufficient  understanding 
with  each  other  to  keep  going  a  society  which  demanded  from 
you  no  sacrifice,  and  which  had  only  one  aim  desired  by  all, 
"war  against  accursed  capital,"  how  do  you  suppose  that 
ordinary  working  men  will  remain  united,  when,  in  their  daily 
life,  they  shall  have  to  regulate  constantly  opposed  interests, 
and  to  take  decisions  touching  each  other's  remuneration? 
You  were  unwilling  to  submit  to  a  general  council  which 
imposed  no  task  upon  you  ;  how,  in  the  workshop,  will  you 
obey  the  orders  of  your  chiefs  who  will  have  to  determine  your 
duties  and  direct  your  labour  ? 

The  International  is  dead,  not  through  the  severity  of  the 


THE  RISE  AND  FALL   OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL.     IQI 

laws  nor  the  persecution  of  rulers,  but  from  anaemia.  Never-  i^.l. -^3 
theless,  its  career,  short  as  it  was,  has  left  in  the  life  of  to-day 
traces  that  will  not  soon  disappear.  It  has  given  a  formidable 
impetus  to  aggressive  Socialism,  especially  in  the  Latin  countries. 
It  has  made  of  the  antagonism  of  employes  against  employers 
a  chronic  evil,  by  persuading  the  former  that  they  constitute  a 
class  hopelessly  destined  to  misery  and  want  through  the  unjust 
privileges  of  the  latter.  We  shall  see  this  more  clearly  still  by 
following  the  development  of  the  International  in  the  different 
States.* 

*  For  the  historyof  the  International,  the  best  book,  beyond  contradiction, 
is  the  Emancipationskampf  dcs  viertm  Standes,\>j  \<.\xA.o\{  Meyer,  a  Con- 
servative Socialist.  See  also  Histoire  dii  Sbdalisnie,  by  B.  Malon  (Veladini, 
Lugano,  1879).  P^or  the  later  developments  and  present  position,  in  the 
several  European  States  and  in  America,  of  the  Socialistic  movement  to 
which  the  International  gave  rise,  see  the  recent  work  of  Dr.  Zacher, 
Government  Assessor  in  Germany,  entitled  Die  Rothe Internationale  (Berlin, 
18S4).— Jr.] 


192  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER  X. 


BAKUNIN    THE   APOSTLE   OF    NIHILISM. 


/2,  5.^>?         TTZHEN    Dante   descended   through   the   circles   of   the 
V  V     Inferno  and  reached  the  lowest  depths  of  the  "  city 
without  hope,"  he  found  himself  face  to  face  with  the  awful 
sovereign  of  the  revolted  angels  : 

"  U Imperador  del  dolorosa  regno." 

So,  when  we  penetrate  to  the  lowest  stratum  of  Revolutionary 
Socialism,  we  meet  Bakunin.  It  is  impossible  to  go  further, 
for  he  is  the  apostle  of  universal  destruction,  of  absolute  An- 
archism, or,  as  he  himself  terras  his  doctrine,  of  "  iVmorphism." 
He  it  was  who,  borrowing  the  name  and  the  organization  of 
the  International,  spread  Anarchic  Socialism  throughout  the 
Latin  countries.  His  were  the  ideas  which,  as  we  have  shown, 
prevailed  in  the  Commune  of  Paris,  and  it  is  his  ideas  which 
to-day  form  the  basis  of  the  programmes  adopted  by  the 
>  \\  majority  of  Socialist  Associations  in  Italy,  in  Switzerland,  in 
1  ; '  Belgium,  in  Spain,  and  even  in  France.  What  are  these  ideas, 
whence  do  they  come,  and  who  is  Bakunin?  It  is  worth 
knowing,  for  this  is  the  foe  that  for  many  a  day  existing  society 
will  have  to  combat. 

Proudhon  was  a  brilliant  dialectician,  but  he  had  clear 
ideas  upon  nothing,  and  consequently  he  is  full  of  contra- 
dictions. On  the  one  hand,  he  abolishes  private  property  and 
leaves  to  individuals  possession  only ;  what  possession — for 
life,  for  periods  of  years,  or  revocable  at  any  moment? — he 
does  not  say,  but  in  any  case  the  State  will  be  the  collective 
owner,  and  all  the  requisites  of  production  will  be  concentrated 
in  the  State.      On  the  other  hand,  pushing  the  hostility  of 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  1 93 

Economists  to  State  intervention  to  an  extreme,  he  ends  by 
crying  up  "anarchy,"  that  is  to  say,  the  suppression  of  the 
State.  He  extols  individuahsm  and  Hberty.  Order  will  result, 
he  asserts,  from  the  initiative  of  individuals  freed  from  the 
shackles  of  all  kinds  which  at  present  impede  and  crush  them. 
Bakunin  reproduces  these  ideas,  but  he  clothes  them  in  Russian 
garb.  He  demands  the  collective  ownership  of  the  soil  and 
orthe  instruments  of  production,  but  he  confers  it  upon  the 
Commune  in  like  manner  as  such  ownership  exists  with  regard 
to  land  in  the  villages  of  Great  Russia.  He  desires  "  anarchy," 
but  with  a  sort  of  mystic  enthusiasm  quite  foreign  to  Proudhon. 
He  dreams  of  the  total  destruction  of  all  existing  institutions, 
and  the  formation  of  an  "  amorphous  "  society ;  that  is  to  say,  a 
society  without  any  form,  which  means,  in  reality,  a  return  to 
the  savage  state.  To  attain  this  end,  there  is  wanted  a  revolu- 
tion knowing  no  pity— a  revolution  which,  by  fire  and  sword, 
will  extirpate  to  the  very  last  traces  the  old  social  order.  The 
final  aim,  then,  is  Collectivism,  or,  better  still,  "  Amorphism," 
and  the  means  of  attaining  it  "pan-destruction." 

It  might  be  supposed  that  these  were  the  ideas  of  a  raving 
lunatic,  but  they  are  not  without  precedent  in  the  history  of 
human  thought.  At  certain  troublous  epochs  the  souls  of 
thpse  who  yearn  for  the  ideal  bemoan  and  are  indignant  at  the 
evils  and  iniquities  that  afflict  the  human  race.  They  catch  a 
glimpse  of  a  better  order  where  justice  will  reign  supreme,  but 
they  believe  that  it  can  never  be  attained  by  slow  and  successive 
reforms.  They,  therefore,  look  for  the  destruction  of  the  old 
order,  so  that  from  its  ruins  the  regenerated  order  may  arise. 
Such  was  the  idea  of  primitive  Christianity.  In  order  that  the 
Kingdom  of  Heaven  might  come,  this  perverse  world  must 
perish ;  not,  it  is  true,  by  a  political  or  social  revolution,  but  by 
a  cosmical  catastrophe.  Everything  was  to  be  consumed,  not 
by  the  torch  of  the  incendiary,  as  certain  Anarchists  wish 
to-day,  but  by  fire  from  heaven. 

"  Dies  irae,  dies  ilia 

Solvet  sseclum  in  favilla."  * 

*  The  idea  of  palingenesis  arose  from  the  problem  of  evil.     The  just 

O 


194  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  early  Christians  for  a  long  time  expected  the  "  pan- 
destruction  "  and   the  coming  of  the  Kingdom.     Buf  as  the 

suffer,  the  wicked  triumph,  the  world  is  full  of  strife :  whence  does  this 
arise  if  God  is  good  and  just?  The  question  is  profoundly  treated  in  the 
splendid  poem  of  Job,  as  M.  Renan  has  so  well  pointed  out.  The  never- 
ending  controversy  between  optimism  and  pessimism  was  taken  up  by 
Voltaire  and  Rousseau,  with  reference  to  the  famous  poem  on  the  earth- 
quake at  Lisbon.  The  belief  that  the  world,  fundamentally  bad,  mus.t 
perish  in  flames,  in  order  to  make  way  for  a  new  heaven  and"  a"  new  eartlj, 
is  found  in  all  the  old  religions.  In  Mazdeism  the  successive  cycles  of  the 
'  development  of  humanity  on  earth  end  in  a  general  conflagration,  followed 
by  a  universal  renewal.  In  the  Wolospa  of  the  Eddas  the  palingenesis  is 
conceived  almost  exactly  as  in  our  Gospels : — 

{Signs  of  the  Doom.) 

"  The  sun  shall  grow  black. 
The  earth  shall  sink  into  the  sea. 
The  bright  stars  shall  vanish  from  the  heavens. 

Smoke  and  fire  shall  gush  forth. 

The  terrible  flame  shall  play  against  the  very  sky." 

( The  Sibyl  of  the  zvorld  to  come.) 

"  I  can  see  earth  rise  a  second  time,  fresh  and  green  out  of  the  sea. 
The  waters  are  falling,  the  erne  hovering  over  them. 

The  bird  that  hunts  the  fish  in  the  mountain  streams. 
The  fields  unsown  shall  yield  their  fruit ; 
All  ills  shall  be  healed  at  the  coming  of  Balder. 

The  Anses  shall  meet  on  the  Field  of  Ith, 

And  do  judgments  under  the  mighty  Tree  of  the  world." 

[I  have  taken  this  translation  of  the  Sibyl's  prophecy  from  the  reconstructed 
version  of  the  Wolospa  in  the  admirable  work  of  Messrs.  Vigfusson  and 
Powell  {Corpus  Poeticum  Boreale,  vol.  ii.  625).  These  learned  editors 
think  that  the  lines,  "Then  there  shall  come  One  yet  mightier,  Though  I 
dare  not  name  him,"  evidently  alluding  to  the  coming  of  Christ,  belong  to 
a  separate  poem,  the  shorter  Wolospa,  which  they  have  also  pieced  together. 
— T;-.]  In  the  splendid  lines  of  Virgil's  fourth  Eclogue  are  to  be  found  the 
echo  of  the  aspirations  after  a  new  world  met  with  in  all  antiquity  and 
especially  in  the  Sibylline  songs : — 

"  Magnus  ab  integro  sgeclorum  nascitur  ordo. 
Jam  nova  progenies  cselo  demittitur  alto. 
.   .   .   ae  toto  surget  gens  aurea  mundo. 
.   .   .  omnis  feret  omnia  tellus." 

Virgil  depicts  the  regeneration  of  Nature  ;  the  Edda  and  the  Gospel  dwell 
rather  on  social  regeneration  and  the  triumph  of  Justice.  Fourier  has  also 
his  palingenesis  with  its  anti-lions,  its  anti-whales,  and  its  ocean  of  lemon- 
ade ;  but  we  may  prefer  the  Wolospa  and  the  Gospel.  Pierre  Leroux,  in 
his  book  V Ihimaniti,  ii.  6,  has  well  pointed  out  how  the  ideas  of  palin- 
genesis, common  to  all  antiquity,  are  connected  with  astrology  and  with 
certain  theories  about  cosmical  periods. 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM. 


195 


end  of  the  world  did  not  come,  those  who  persisted  in  these 
hopes,  the  Millenarians,  were  declared  heretics.  The  Anchor- 
ites "and  the  Ascetics,  too,  fled  from  a  world  hopelessly  given 
up  to  evil  Finally,  the  same  thought  inspired  Rousseau  in 
his  famous  Essays  on  Letters,  and  on  the  Origin  of  Inequality. 
Jean-Jacques  was  struck  with  the  evils  and  iniquities  of  the 
sqcial  order.  Civil  institutions  consecrate  inequality  and  pro- 
perty, whence  spring  the  servitude  and  misery  of  the  masses. 
Science,  art,  and  literature,  of  which  we  are  so  proud,  are  they 
not  the  agents  of  demoralization  ?  Civilization  is  the  source 
of  all  evils.  What  is  the  remedy  ?  Rousseau  sees  only  one, 
and  that  he  believes  impossible  :  a  return  to  the  primitive  state. 
We  must,  then,  as  Voltaire  put  it,  return  to  the  woods  and  go 
on  all  fours. 

The  Revolutionists  of  to-day  reproduce  the  same  train  of 
reasoning.  Formerly  they  called  for  universal  suffrage  and 
the  republic,  as  the  panacea  against  the  social  disorder.  These 
institutions  exist  in  America,  together  with  commercial  auto- 
nomy and  complete  liberty;  nevertheless,  the  progress  of 
civilization  is  bringing  about  the  same  situation  there  as  in 
monarchical  Europe.  The  Utopian  systems  of  Robert  Owen, 
Fourier,  Cabet,  and  Louis  Blanc  have  been  tried,  and  have 
failed.  The  difficulty  of  economic  reforms  has  been  demon- 
strated by  science  and  by  facts.  Must  we  wait  until  the 
gradual  development  of  education  and  of  equality  brings  about 
a  better  situation?  But  then  we  shall  have  to  endure,  per- 
haps for  some  centuries,  the  hell  that  at  present  exists.  No, 
it  is  too  much.  Accursed  be  society  !  Down  with  its  institu- 
tions and  its  laws  !  Let  us  overthrow  all  that  is,  and,  according 
to  Rousseau's  wish,  go  back  again  to  the  savage  state. 

This  genesis  of  the  extreme  revolutionary  idea  in  the  West 
takes,^m  the  case  of  Bakunin,  a  peculiar  tone  of  exaltation 
and  mysticism  that  springs,  I  believe,  from  the  Russian  charac- 
ter. Whether  it  is  the  effect  of  race  or  of  social  surroundings, 
we  see  social  phenomena  produced  in  Russia  which  would 
seem  impossible  with  other  nations.  Thus,  as  one  knows, 
there  is  in  Russia  a  considerable  sect  who,  in  spite  of  severe 
penalties,  practise  systematically  the  self-inflicted  mutilation  of 


h^l 


(l^'^ 


196  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Origen.  I  visited  at  St.  Petersburg,  near  the  corn-market,  a 
street  almost  exclusively  inhabited  by  small  bankers  belonging 
to  this  eccentric  sect.  The  determination,  the  self-forgetful 
ness,  the  audacity  of  the  Nihilists,  compared  with  whose  con- 
spiracies the  plots  of  Carbonarism  are  merely  child's  play,  are 
a  fact  so  foreign  to  our  nature  that  we  can  hardly  understand  it. 
Yet  it  is  with  these  sentiments,  which  seem  so  contrary  to  nature, 
that  Bakunin  has  succeeded  in  inspiring  his  partisans,  as  well  in 
western  countries  as  in  his  native  land.  Is  it  not  strange  that 
this  Muscovite,  whose  intelligence  and  learning  are  by  no 
means  remarkable,  should  have  succeeded  in  originating  a 
movement  of  ideas  which  plays  so  important  a  role  in  the 
march  of  contemporary  events  ?  Not  only  is  he  the  father  of 
Nihilism  in  Russia,  but  he  has  been  the  apostle  of  International 
Anarchic  Socialism  throughout  the  south  of  Europe,  and  it  is 
the  substance  of  his  doctrines  that  we  meet  in  those  of  the 
Paris  Revolution  of  the  i8th  of  March. 

Michael  Bakunin  was  born  in  18 14,  in  the  government  of 
Twer,  near  Moscow.  His  family  belongs  to  the  Russian  aris- 
tocracy. One  of  his  uncles  had  been  an  ambassador  under 
Catherine  II.,  and  he  was  cousin  by  marriage  of  the  General 
Muravieff,  whom  the  Poles  call  "  the  hangman  of  Poland." 
He  studied  at  the  School  of  Artillery  in  St.  Petersburg,  and 
entered  the  service  as  an  officer.  Quartered  with  his  battery 
in  the  Polish  provinces,  the  sight  of  the  regime  of  absolute 
repression  to  which  these  provinces  were  subjected  filled  his 
heart  with  the  hatred  of  despotism.  He  resigned  his  com- 
mission and  went  to  reside  at  Moscow,  where  he  studied 
(i  philosophy  with  Belinski.    Towards  1846  he  went  to  Germany, 

i  where  Hegelian  ideas  captivated  him,  and  he  threw  himself 
into  the  extreme  left  of  that  school  of  thought  in  which  a 
powerful  revolutionary  leaven  was  then  fermenting.  In  1847 
he  went  to  Paris,  where  he  met  George  Sand  and  Proudhon ; 
but  he  was  soon  expelled  from  France,  probably  on  account  of 
the  violence  of  his  speeches.  Returning  to  Germany,  he  took 
an  active  part  in  the  insurrections  which  at  that  time  burst  forth 
in  many  places,  and  in  the  spring  of  1849  he  was  one  of  the 
leaders  of  the  rising  at  Dresden,  when  the  revolutionary  party 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  1 97 

occupied  the  town  for  three  day's.  He  was  taken  prisoner  and 
concTemned  to  death.  This  sentehce  was  commuted  for  per- 
petual imprisonment,  which  he  at  first  underwent  in  an  Austrian 
fortress,  but  afterwards,  having  been  claimed  by  Russia,  he  was 
shut  up  in  the  fort  of  Petropavloffski,  at  St.  Petersburg.  There 
he  remained  for  eight  years.  Imprisonment  produced  the  same 
effect  upon  him  as  upon  Blanqui.  It  transformed  in  him  the 
revolutionary  idea  into  fanaticism  and  a  kind  of  religion.  He 
actually  compared  himself  to  Prometheus,  the  Titan  benefactor 
of  men,  chained  to  a  rock  in  the  Caucasus  by  the  orders  of  the 
Tsar  of  Olympus.  He  even  thought,  they  say,  of  making  a 
drama  on  the  subject,  and  he  used  sometimes,  later  on,  to  chant 
the  plaint  of  the  Ocean  Nymphs  coming  to  console  the  victnn 
of  the  vengeance  of  Zeus.  Bakunin,  of  course,  was  the  modern 
Prometheus,  who  brought  to  men  the  light  of  truth. 

Alexander  II.  commuted  the  perpetual  imprisonment  for 
exile  in  Siberia,  where  Bakunin  arrived  in  1857.  He  found 
there,  as  governor,  Muravieff-Amurski,  a  cousin  of  the  other 
Muravieff,  and  consequently  his  own  connection.  He  thus 
enjoyed,  it  appears,  exceptional  favours  and  complete  liberty. 
Katkoff,  the  famous  journalist  of  Moscow,  and  former  friend 
of  Bakunin,  has  alleged  that  he  has  letters  of  Bakunin  which 
prove  that  he  used  to  take  money  from  tradesmen  on  the 
understanding  that  he  would  recommend  them  to  the  governor. 
He  obtained  leave  to  visit  the  whole  of  Siberia,  in  order  to  make 
known  its  resources.  Having  arrived  at  the  port  of  Nikq- 
laieffski,  he  succeeded  in  getting  on  board  ship,  and  in  1861 
reached  England,  by  way  of  Japan  and  America.  He  wrote  in 
the  famous  newspaper,  the  Kolokol  (the  Bell),  edited  by  Herzen 
and  Ogareff.  At  the  time  of  the  Polish  insurrection  in  1863, 
he  wished  to  go  to  Lithuania  to  raise  the  peasants  there,  but 
he  was  unable  to  get  further  than  Malmoe,  in  Sweden.  Soon 
afterwards,  about  1865,  we  find  him  in  Italy,  fomenting  and 
organizing  Socialism.  He  then  for  some  time  placed  his 
activity  at  the  service  of  the  International,  but  he  never 
admitted  its  expectation  of  a  brighter  future  from  the  reform 
of  existing  institutions.  What  he  longed  for  was  their 
destruction. 


198  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

At  the  Congress  of  the  League  of  Peace  and  Liberty,  which 
assembled  at  Berne  in  1869,  under  the  presidency  of  Victor 
Hugo,  Bakunin  with  some  of  his  friends  attempted  to  carry 
resolutions  in  favour  of  Communism.  He  obtained  only  thirty 
votes  against  eighty.  Indignant  at  the  imbeciUty  and  cowardice 
of  the  bourgeois  democrats,  he  founded  a  new  society  which 
was  to  carry  out  his  ideas,  "  the  Alliance  of  the  Socialist 
Democracy." 

One  extract  from  its  programme  will  suffice  to  enable  its 
tendencies  to  be  understood:  "The  Alliance  declares  itself 
|i  atheistic.  It  desires  the  final  and  complete  abolition  of  classes, 
'■''  and  the  political^  economical,  and  social  equalization  of  the  two 
sexes.  It  wishes  that  land,  instruments  of  production,  and  all 
other  capital  should  become  the  collective  property  of  society 
as  a  whole,  and  should  only  be  utilized  by  the  workers,  that  i_s, 
by  agricultural  and  industrial  associations.  It  recognizes  that 
all  political  and  authoritative  States  actually  existing  must  dis- 
appear in  the  universal  union  of  free  associations." 

How  to  realize  this  radical  change?  Evidently  by  force 
employed  without  truce  and  without  mercy.  The  Bakunists 
did  not  disguise  the  matter  at  all.  One  of  them,  Jaclard, 
exclaimed  in  this  congress  intended  to  establish  universal 
peace,  "You  wish  to  preserve  existing  institutions  in  orderjo 
reform  them  ?  Vain  endeavour  !  They  can  only  be  the  instru- 
ments of  tyranny  and  spoliation.  We,  we  alone  are  logical ;  we 
wish  to  destroy  everything.  We  separate  ourselves  from  you, 
and  warn  you  :  War  you  shall  have,  and  it  will  be  a  terrible  one. 
It  will  array  itself  against  all  that  exists.  Yes,  we  must  away 
with  the  bourgeoisie  and  its  institutions.  It  is  only  on  their 
smoking  ruins  that  the  definitive  Republic  can  be  based.  It  is 
on  the  ruins  smeared,  I  will  not  say  with  their  blood— it  is  long 
since  they  have  had  any  in  their  veins— but  with  their  accumu- 
lated filth,  that  we  shall  plant  the  standard  of  the  Social 
Revolution." 

The  Alliance  resolved  to  join  the  International,  but  the 
general  council  of  the  latter  refused  to  admit  it,  on  the  ground 
that  the  Alliance,  which  also  proclaimed  itself  International, 
could  not,  as  such,  enter  into  its  ranks.     The  Alliance  accord- 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  1 99 

ingly  pronounced  its  dissolution,  and  its  sections  were  separately 
admitted  into  the  great  association.  Settled  at  Geneva,  Bakunin 
started  there  the  journal  Egalitc.  By  his  articles  in  the  F?'ogres 
of  Locle,  he  induced  the  Socialists  of  the  Jura  to  separate  them- 
selves from  the  radicals  of  French-speaking  Switzerland.  He 
thus"  created  there  the  group  of  "  Autonomists,"  in  opposition 
to  the  Authoritarians,  or  followers  of  Marx.  His  ideas,  brought 
by  members  of  the  International  to  Spain,  spread  there  with 
extraordinary  rapidity.  The  "  Anarchists  "  gained  ground  also 
among  the  French  Socialists. 

On  the  28th  of  September,  1870,  Bakunin  organized  an  insur- 
rection at  Lyons,  which  failed  through  an  accumulation  of  folly. 
He  had  prepared  the  decree  which  was  to  pronounce  the 
abolition  of  the  State,  but,  as  his  opponent  Marx  said,  two 
companies  of  bourgeois  National  Guards  were  sufficient  to  send 
him  flying  to  Geneva.  In  a  pamphlet  entitled  "  Letters  to  a 
Frenchman"  (September,  1870)  he  set  forth  the  line  of  action 
that  he  wished  to  see  adopted  by  the  Revolutionists  in  France, 
and  which  the  revolution  of  the  i8th  of  March  was  in  fact  about 
to  follow  to  the  letter.  The  principal  points  of  this  programme 
are  the  following  : — "  The  insurgent  Capital  forms  itself  into  a 
Commune.  The  federation  of  the  barricades  is  maintained  in 
permanence.  The  communal  council  is  formed  of  delegates, 
one  for  each  barricade  or  ward  :  deputies  who  are  responsible 
and  always  revocable.  The  council  chooses  from  its  members 
separate  executive  committees  for  each  department  of  the 
revolutionary  administrative  of  the  Commune."  "  The  Capital 
declares  that,  all  central  government  being  abolished,  it 
renounces  the  government  of  the  provinces.  It  will  invite  the 
other  communes,  both  urban  and  rural,  to  organize  themselves 
'  revolutionarily,'  and  to  send,  to  a  place  to  be  named,  delegates 
with  imperative  and  revocable  mandate,  in  order  to  establish 
the  federation  of  the  autonomous  communes  and  to  organize 
the  revolutionary  force  necessary  to  triumph  over  the  reaction. 
This  organization  is  not  limited  to  the  insurgent  country. 
Other  provinces  or  countries  may  join  in  it.  The  communes 
which  pronounce  for  the  reaction  shall  be  excluded  from  it." 

Except  that  he  ignored  the  principle  of  nationaUties,  that 


200  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

factor  of  ethnographical  units  which,  far  from  being  played  out, 
is  in  full  activity  to-day,  the  re'gime  here  proposed  by  Bakunin 
is  no  other  than  that  which  is  in  full  force  in  Switzerlarid  and  in 
the  United  States.  By  a  singular  change,  the  revolutionaries 
of  to-day  desire  to  push  federalism  even  to  the  subdivision  of 
a  country,  the  very  crime  against  "  France  one  and  indivisible  " 
which  sent  the  Girondists  to  the  guillotine. 

As  we  have  seen,  in  1872  Marx  caused  Bakunin  to  be 
expelled  from  the  International.  The  next  year,  when  the  JFede- 
ration  of  the  Jura  had  constituted  a  new  universal  association, 
Bakunin  retired  from  militant  life  and  lived  near  Locarno,  in  a 
little  villa  given  to  him  by  his  old  friend  Cafiero.  His  health 
was  thoroughly  shattered.  He  went  to  Berne  so  as  to  be  under 
;  the  care  of  his  friend  Vogt,  a  physician,  and  on  the  and  of  Jul)',, 
1876,  he  died  there.  His  writings  are  neither  numerous  nor 
important.  The  two  principal  ones  are  entitled  L Empire 
KnoutO'gertrianique  et  la  Revolution  Sociale,  and  La  Theologie 
politique  de  Mazzini  et  V Internationale.  Like  all  apostles,  it 
was  by  oral  propaganda,  by  the  enthusiastic  disciples  which  he 
made,  and  by  the  institutions  which  he  created,  that  his  influence 
made  itself  felt.  Let  us  see  what  were  these  institutions,  and 
what  were  the  doctrines  they  were  to  spread. 

The  Alliance  of  the  Socialist  Democracy,  founded  by 
Bakunin  in  1869,  was  a  society  half  public,  like  the  Interna- 
tional, and  half  secret,  like  Carbonarism.  It  was  composed  of 
three  sections.  The  first  was  formed  by  the  "International 
brothers"  to  the  number  of  one  hundred.  They  were  the 
leaders  of  the  movement ;  they  were  known  to  each  other,  but 
they  were  not  made  known  to  the  uninitiated.  "Their  only 
country  was  the  universal  revolution,  their  only  enemies  the 
reaction."  They  must  accept  the  programme  in  all  its  con- 
quences,  theoretical  and  practical,  unite  with  intelligence  and 
discretion  the  most  absolute  revolutionary  passion,  and  be 
regular  "dare-devils."  The  second  section  was  composed  of 
the  "  National  brothers,"  who  were  appointed  by  the  Interna- 
tional brothers,  whose  duty  was  to  prepare  the  revolution  in 
their  respective  countries,  independently,  and  who  were  to  be 
kept  in  ignorance  of  the  very  existence  of  an  International 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  201 

organization.  The  third  section  embraced  all  the  simple 
adherents  who  enrolled  themselves  in  local  Socialist  associa- 
tions, figured  in  the  congresses,  and  constituted  the  grand  army 
of  the  insurrection. 

The  Alliance  starts  from  the  idea  "that  revolutions  are 
made  HeTtTier  by  individuals  nor  by  secret  societies.  They 
come,  as  it  were,  of  themselves,  produced  by  the  movement  of 
ideas  and  events.  All  that  a  secret  society  can  do  is  to  spread 
among  the  masses  ideas  which  may  instigate  them  to  revolution, 
and  afterwards^  to  constitute  a  revolutionary  directorate,  capable 
of  guiding  the  insurrection  when  it  breaks  out.  For  the  inter- 
national organization  of  the  Revolution,  a  hundred  devoted  and 
closely  united  men  are  sufficient."  By  a  flagrant  inconsistency, 
Bakunin,  who  preached  anarchy  and  who  rebelled  against  Marx 
and  his  General  Council,  because  they  arrogated  to  themselves 
too  much  authority,  here  returns  to  the  ideas  of  Mazzini,  and 
creates  a  highly  centralized  organization,  on  the  model  of  the 
Society  of  the  Jesuits,  having,  like  it,  the  hilt  of  the  sword  in 
the  hands  of  one  man  and  the  point  everywhere.  All  appoint- 
ments and  all  initiatives  were  to  come  from  the  head  centre. 

The  International  aimed  at  the  raising  of  wages  and  social 
reform  by  means  of  discussion,  propaganda,  the  press,  in  a  word, 
by  means  of  publicity.  Bakunin,  on  the  contrary,  returned  to 
the  old  methods  of  conspiracy.  This  system  may  succeed  in  a 
country  despotically  governed,  where  the  object  is  to  substitute 
a  better  political  regime;  but  in  free  countries,  which,  like 
Switzerland  and  France,  govern  themselves  and  where  it  only 
remains  to  introduce  economic  reforms,  who  is  to  be  over- 
thrown ?  Is  it  those  chosen  by  universal  suffrage  ?  In  place 
of  anarchism,  then,  it  is  a  dictatorship  that  you  are  going  to 
establish.  You  may  have  discovered  the  most  perfect  social 
system,  for  example,  absolute  amorphism  and  unlimited  col- 
lectivism, yet  you  would  not  be  able  to  establish  it  or  make  it 
work,  if  the  masses  who  are  to  practise  it  have  not  even  an 
idea  of  it.  A  dictator,  were  he  all-powerful,  would  lose  his 
labour. 

The  programme  of  the  Alliance  is  no  other  than  that  of 
Nihilism.     "  The  Association  of  the  International  brothers,"  it 


202  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

declares,  ''  desires  a  universal  revolution,  at  once  social,  philo- 
sophical, economical,  and  political,  in  order  that  the  existing 
order  of  things — which  is  founded  on  property,  on  exploitation, 
on  the  principle  of  authority,  whether  religious,  metaphysical, 
doctrinaire  after  the  manner  of  the  bou?'geoisie,  or  revolutionary 
after  the  manner   of  the  Jacobins — may  be  absolutely  over- 
thrown, so  that  not  one  stone  of  it  shall  remain  upon  another, 
first  throughout  Europe,  and  then  in  the   rest  of  the  world. 
Raising  the  cry  of  '  Peace  for  the  workers  !    Liberty  for  the 
oppressed  ! '  and  '  Death  to  tyrants,  exploiters,  and  patrons  of  all 
f  kinds  ! '  we  wish  to  destroy  all  States  and  all  Churches,  with 
!  all  their  institutions  and  laws,  religious,  political,  juridical,  finan- 
j  -  cial,  magisterial,  academical,  economical,  and  social,  in  order 
I  \  that  all  these  millions  of  poor  human  beings,  who  are  cheated, 
enslaved,    overworked,  and    exploited — having    been   at   last 
delivered  from  their  masters  and  benefactors,  whether  official 
or  officious,  whether  associations  or  individuals — may  hence- 
forth and  for  ever  breathe  in  absolute  freedom."    This  is  plainly 
Rousseau's  idea,  expressed  with  the  emphasis  of  the  Oriental 
and  the  violence  of  the  Tartar.     Man,  especially  the  worker, 
is  crushed  by  the  immense  superstructure  of  the  social  edifice 
which  the  centuries  have  piled. up.     How  to  free  him?     There 
is  only  one  way  :  to  hurl  it  all  down  and  level  it  even  with  the 
ground.     Everything  must  be  swept  away  so  as  to  produce 
"perfect   amorphism;"   for   if    one    single   ancient   form   be 
preserved,  "  it  will  become  the  embryo  from  which  all  the  old 
social  iniquities  will  spring  up  again." 

Still,  however  perfect  this  amorphism  may  be,  to  whatever 
extreme  the  work  of  destruction  may  be  pushed,  there  will  yet 
remain  some  men  hving  and  working  beside  each  other.  What 
political  tie  will  unite  them  ?  How  will  property  and  the  dis- 
tribution of  products  be  regulated  ?  In  the  programme  of  the 
Alliance,  we  can  find  only  vague  indications  on  this  head. 
The  ideal  of  the  future  is  evidently  borrowed  from  what  exists 
in  Russia  to-day.  Land  will  be  the  collective  property  of  the 
Commune,  which  will  distribute  it  among  the  inhabitants. 
Industrial  workers  will  be  associated  in  "  artel,"  that  is  to  say, 
in  co-operative  societies.     But  it  is  a  crime  to  attempt  at  pre- 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  203 

sent  to  forecast  the  organization  of  the  future.  "  All  reasonings 
about  the  future  are  criminal,  because  they  hinder  destruction 
pure  and  simple,  and  fetter  the  progress  of  the  revolution." 

In   his    Paroles   addressees   aux  Etudiants,    Bakunin,    like 
Rousseau,  attacks  science  and  education,  and  cries  up  "  holy  ^ 
aria"wholesome  ignoraiice."     The  Russian  people,  he  says,  are 
now  in  the"  saiiie  "condition  as  in  the  days  of  the  Tsar  Alexis, 
father  of  Peter  the  Great,  when  Stenka  Razine,  the  Cossack 
Chief  of  the  Brigands,  placed  himself  at  the  head  of  a  formid- 
able insurrection.      The  great  mass  of  our  young  men  without 
any  defined  position  (declasses),  who  already  lead  the  life  of 
the  people,  will  form  a  sort  of  collective  and,    consequently, 
invincible   Stenka    Razine,    and    will   bring   about   the   final 
emancipation.     But  they  must  leave  the  schools  and  universi-fj 
ties   and   live   with   the   people,    in   order  16  "promote   theirll 
deliverance.     "Give  no  thought  to  this  useless  knowledgeln  j 
the  name  of  which  men  try  to  tie  your  hands."     "  The  brigand 
is  the  true  hero,  the  avenger  of  the  people,  the  irreconcilable 
enemy   of  the  State,  the  true  revolutionist  in  action,  without 
phrases  or  rhetoric  borrowed  from  books." 

It  is  evident  that  Bakunin  had  read  Schiller  and  had  some 
recollection  of  Karl  von  Moor.  Marx,  who  used  to  laugh  at 
his  opponent's  bombastic  rhetoric,  remarked  that  as  regards 
brigands,  there  were  none  in  Russia — outside  the  Government 
at  least — except  some  poor  devils  who  carried  on  the  trade  of 
horse-stealing,  to  the  profit  of  certain  commercial  enterprises, 
which  paid,  moreover,  very  good  dividends.  Nevertheless,  it 
is  true  that,  when  the  social  mechanism  drives  the  masses  to 
despair,  brigands  multiply  and  become  popular,  as  has  been 
the  case  for  some  time  in  Sicily  and  Calabria.  But  in  Russia 
it  is  the  middle  class,  and  not  the  people,  who  feel  themselves 
oppressed  ;  and  it  is  revolutionists,  and  not  brigands,  that  the 
bourgeoisie  supply. 

In  another  fly-sheet,  printed  at  Geneva,  in  Russian  and  for 
Russia,  entitled  "The  Principles  of  the  Revolution,"  Bakunin 
indicates  the  means  to  be  employed  for  overthrowing  every- 
thing and  estabUshing  amorphism.  "Admitting,"  he  says,  "no 
other  activity  than  that  of  destruction,  we  declare  that  the 


204  'rHE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

forms  in  which   that   activity  should    express   itself  may   be 
widely  varied  :   poison,  poignard,  running  noose.     The  revolu- 
tion sanctifies  all  means  without  distinction."     These  means 
will  appear  somewhat  superannuated  to-day,  but  ten  years  ago 
petroleum  and  dynamite  did  not  yet  occupy,  in  the  revolution- 
ary arsenal,  the  position  now  assured  to  them  by  their  proved 
efficiency.     To  attain  to  "  pan-destruction,"  the  first  requisite 
is  "  a  series  of  outrages  and  of  audacious  and  even  mad  enter- 
prises, striking  terror  into  the  powerful  and  arousing  the  people, 
till  they  believe  in  the  triumph  of  the  Revolution."     Does  not 
this  infernal  programme  seem  like  a  hideous  dream  ? — and  yet 
the  various  attempts  at  assassination  which  take  place  almost 
daily  in  Russia  and  elsewhere  prove  that  it  is  being  carried  out 
to  the  letter.    It  is  incomprehensible  how  this  frightful  work  of 
\  pan-destruction  can  inspire  persons  belonging  to  the  well-to-do 
:   classes  with  that  savage  fanaticism  which  leads  them  to  sacrifice 
j   their  own  lives  in  order  to  kill  those  whom  the   Vehmgericht 
\  condemns  to  death.     In  the  West,  regicides  are  not  wanting, 
1  and  they  act  under  the  sway  of  this  same  hatred  of  the  social 
order,   but  they  have  no  accomplices,  and  the  criminal  idea 
springs  from  a  sort  of  sickly  fermentation  in  disordered  brains  : 
the  two  regicides  of  Berlin,  the  two  of  Madrid,  and  the  one  of 
Naples  all  displayed  the  same  characteristics.      In  Russia  the 
assassins  are  intelligent,  well-informed,  determined  persons,  and 
they  act  in  obedience  to  a  vast  association  which  is  everywhere 
,  present,  but  which,  nevertheless,  baffles  the  most  persisten); 
i'  efforts  of  the  police.     There  must  be  a  force  of  mystical_exalta- 
tion  in  the  Russian  character 'ivhicli  Kas  disappeared  elsewhere. 
To    find   a   similar   phenomenon,    we  must   go  back  to  the 
partisans  of  the  "  Old  Man  of  the  Mountain,"  in  the  thirteenth 
century. 

The  organization  of  the  party  has  not  remained  unknown  ; 
it  was  formulated  by  Bakunin  in  the  *'  Revolutionary  Cate- 
chism," written  in  cipher,  but  read  by  the  public  prosecutor  at 
the  trial  of  Netchaieff,  on  the  8th  of  July,  187 1.  The  following 
are  extracts  from  it : — "The  revolutionist  is  a  man  under  a  vow. 
He  ought  to  have  no  personal  interests,  no  business,  no  feelings, 
no  property.     He  ought  to  be  entirely  absorbed  in  one  single 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  205 

interest,  one  single  thought,  one  single  passion — the  Revolution. 
.  .  .  He  has  only  one  aim,  one  science^destruction.  For  that, 
and  for  nothing  else,  he  studies  mechanics,  physics,  chemistry, 
and  sometimes  medicine.  With  the  same  object,  he  observes 
men,  characters,  the  situations  and  all  the  conditions  of  the  social 
order.  He  despises  and  detests  existing  morality.  For  him, 
everything  is  moral  that  helps  on  the  triumph  of  the  Revo- 
lution,  everything  is  immoral  and  criminal  that  hinders  it. 
Between  him  and  society  there  is  war — war  to  the  death,  inces- 
sant, irreconcilable.  He  ought  to  be  ready  to  die,  to  endure 
torture,  and  with  his  own  hands  to  kill  all  who  place  obstacles 
in  the  way  of  the  Revolution.  So  much  the  worse  for  him  if  he 
has  in  this  world  any  ties  of  relationship,  of  friendship,  of  love  ! 
He  is  no  true  revolutionist  if  these  attachments  stay  his  arm. 
Nevertheless,  he  must  live  in  the  midst  of  society,  feigning  to 
be  what  he  is  not.  He  must  penetrate  everywhere,  among  the 
upper  classes  as  well  as  among  the  middle — into  the  merchant's 
shop,  into  the  church,  into  the  Government  offices,  into  the 
army,  into  the  literary  world,  into  the  detective  force,  and  even 
into  the  imperial  palace.  .  . .  He  must  prepare  a  list  of  those  who 
are  condemned  to  death,  and  despatch  them  in  the  order  of 
their  relative  misdoings.  A  new  member  can  only  be  admitted 
into  "the  Association  by  a  unanimous  vote,  and  after  his  qualities 
have  been  proved,  not  by  words  merely,  but  by  deeds.  Each 
'  companion '  should  have  under  his  control  several  revolution- 
ists of  the  second  or  third  degree,  not  wholly  initiated.  He 
should  consider  them  as  part  of  the  revolutionary  capital  placed 
at  his  disposal,  and  he  should  expend  them  economically  and  so 
as  to  abstract  the  greatest  possible  profit  out  of  them.  .  .  .  The 
most  valuable  element  are  women  who  are  completely  initiated, 
and  who  accept  our  whole  programme.  Without  their  aid  we 
can  effect  nothing." 

Bakunin's  instructions  have  been  followed  out  to  the  letter 
in  this  respect,  in  Russia.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  in  all  the  con- 
spiracies there  we  find  rich  and  cultured  women,  even  daughters 
of  State  functionaries,  of  military  officers,  and  of  nobles.  The 
secret  is  so  well  kept  that  when  the  police  lay  hands  on  the 
Nihilists  they  never  succeed  in  tracking  out  the  main  body  of 


''  s 


206  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  association  from  the  fragment  that  they  seize.  The  Ni 
hilists  penetrate  everywhere  :  they  shrink  from  no  means  of 
executing  the  sentence  of  the  secret  tribunal.  When  they  are 
shot  or  hung,  they  die  without  repenting,  and  they  defy  both 
judge  and  executioner.  A  real  dread  of  them  weighs  upon  the 
upper  ranks  of  society  in  Russia,  especially  since  the  terrible 
death  of  the  Emperor  Alexander.  The  life  of  the  present 
sovereign  is  in  constant  danger.  It  is  hard  to  say  which  is  the 
more  astonishing,  the  audacity  of  the  Nihilists  or  the  impo- 
tence of  the  police. 

The  trial  of  Netchaieff  also  enables  us  to  learn  how  the 
association  enlisted  its  partisans.  Netchaieff  was  Bakunin's 
lieutenant.  Ogarefif  had  dedicated  to  him,  in  Herzen's  Kolokol^ 
a  poem  entitled  "The  Student,"  which  has  exercised  a  great 
influence  over  the  revolutionary  youth  of  Russia.  Each  of 
them  learned  it  by  heart,  and  it  is  the  model  they  endeavour  to 
reahze.  In  this  little  poem  the  student  devotes  himself  to 
science  and  to  the  redemption  of  the  people.  He  is  hunted 
down  by  the  police  of  the  Tsar  and  by  the  hatred  of  the 
Boyars.  He  adopts  the  poor  and  nomad  life  of  a  vagabond 
{skitanie),  saying  to  the  peasants  from  morn  till  eve,  "  Arise, 
in  union  and  with  courage  !  "  He  was  condemned  to  penal 
servitude  in  Siberia,  where  he  died  repeating,  "  The  people 
must  win  land  and  liberty  :  Zemlia  e  Volyia."  This  watchword 
became  the  title  of  a  newspaper  secretly  published,  up  to  quite 
recently,  by  the  Nihihsts. 

In  September,  1865,  Netchaieff,  whom  Ogareff's  poetry 
surrounded  with  the  halo  of  an  apostle  and  a  martyr,  arrived 
at  Moscow.  There  he  entered  into  relations  with  the  students 
at  the  Academy  of  Agriculture.  He  made  some  recruits  and 
formed  a  committee,  which  he  called  "The  Russian  Branch  of 
the  International  Working  Men's  Association."  He  gave  them 
some  instructions  on  the  organization  of  the  Secret  Society. 
The  document  was  taken  and  read  at  the  trial.  The  following 
is  a  remarkable  extract : — "  The  organization  is  founded  on 
confidence  towards  the  individual.  No  member  knows  in 
what  degree  he  stands  from  the  centre.  Obedience  to  the 
orders  of  the  committee  must  be  absolute,  without  hesitation 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  20/ 

or  demur."  Four  of  the  young  men  initiated  received  orders 
to  enlist  fresh  adherents  and  to  form  each  a  small  independent 
section.  Among  them  was  a  student  of  the  Academy  of  Agri- 
culture, named  Ivanoff,  who  was  devoting  himself  to  works  of 
charity  with  the  exaltation  of  a  saint.  He  was  much  esteemed 
by  his  fellow-students  and  had  great  influence  among  them. 
He  had  organized  aid  funds  for  poor  students  ;  he  used  to 
devote  all  his  spare  time  to  teaching  the  children  of  the 
peasants,  and  he  habitually  stinted  himself  in  order  to  give  to 
others.  He  believed,  however,  that  individual  beneficence 
could  only  assist  a  few  unfortunates,  and  that  nothing  but 
a  social  revolution  could  put  an  end  to  the  misery  that  exists. 

Netchaieff  and  Ivanoff  did  not  long  pull  together.  Netchaieff 
had  some  revolutionary  proclamations  posted  up  in  the  cheap 
boarding-houses  that  Ivanoff  had  organized  for  poor  students. 
These  were  in  consequence  shut  up,  and  the  managers  sent 
into  exile.  Ivanoff  was  much  distressed  at  this,  and  announced 
his  intention  of  quitting  the  Association.  Then,  in  fear  lest  he 
should  betray  the  secret,  Netchaieff  and  two  other  members, 
Pryoff  and  Nicolaiefif,  though  hitherto  friends  of  Ivanoff,  enticed 
him  one  evening  into  a  quiet  garden,  under  pretext  of  digging 
up  a  secret  press,  and  then  they  shot  him  dead  with  a  revolver 
and  threw  his  body  into  a  pond. 

To  take  another  instance  of  a  similar  nature.  The  Congress 
of  the  International,  which  was  going  to  unite  at  the  Hague  in 
1872,  wished,  under  the  inspiration  of  Marx,  to  exclude  Baku- 
nin,  and  in  order  to  convict  him  of  having  founded  a  secret 
society  with  statutes  contrary  to  those  of  the  International, 
a  Russian  exile,  Utin,  was  commissioned  to  draw  up  a  report 
on  the  Netchaieff  affair.  Utin,  in  order  to  perform  his  task, 
took  up  his  abode  at  Zurich.  One  evening,  as  he  was  walking 
about  near  the  lake,  he  was  attacked  by  eight  persons  who 
spoke  the  Slav  language.  These  men,  after  having,  as  they 
believed,  beaten  him  to  death,  were  going  to  throw  him  into 
the  water,  when  he  was  rescued  by  the  arrival  of  some  students 
of  the  University.  We  may  therefore  conclude,  not  only  from 
the  statutes  of  the  Alliance,  but  from  its  acts,  that  it  does  not 
shrink  from  the  assassination  of  its  members. 


208  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

When  Alexander  II.  decreed  the  aboHtion  of  serfdom  in 
1861,  Bakunin  was  in  hopes  that  he  was  going  to  be  the  Tsar 
of  the  peasants,  Zemsky  Tsar,  a  name  which  he  gave  him  in 
the  Kolokol.  Alexander  was  to  break  with  the  traditions  of 
Peter  the  Great,  who  had  introduced  into  holy  Russia  the 
hateful  institutions  of  the  West,  and  to  substitute  for  them  the 
equal  laws  of  the  Slavs.  "  Unhappily,"  said  he,  "  Alexander 
is  German,  and  as  such  he  will  never  understand  the  Russia 
of  the  peasants,  Zemskjmi  Rossiu."  In  a  pamphlet  entitled 
Romanoff,  Pugatcheff,  or  Pestel  (1862),  he  says,  "Whom  shall 
we  follow?  Romanoff,  that  is  to  say,  Alexander  II.;  Pugatcheff, 
that  is  to  say,  a  military  chief,  such  as  he  who  directed  the 
insurrection  of  the  Cossacks  against  Catherine  ;  or  Pestel,  that 
is  to  say,  a  conspirator  who  would  have  killed  the  Emperor  ?  " 
Pestel  was  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  conspiracy  against 
Nicholas  I.,  in  1825.  He  was  arrested  and  hung.  Bakunin 
explains  with  savage  enthusiasm  the  programme  of  Panslavism. 
"Oh!  war  against  the  Germans,"  he  cries,  ""is  a  good  work 
and  one  indispensable  for  the  Slavs.  We  must  restore  liberty 
to  our  brothers  of  Poland,  of  Lithuania,  and  of  the  Ukraine, 
and  march  in  a  body  to  the  deliverance  of  the  Slavs,  who  groan 
under  the  yoke  of  Teutons  and  Turks.  Alliance  with  Italy, 
Hungary,  Roumania,  and  Greece  against  Prussia,  Austria,  and 
Turkey.  Realization  of  the  cherished  dream  of  all  Slavs  :  the 
constitution  of  the  grand  free  Panslavic  Federation."  At  this 
time  Bakunin  was  still  imbued  with  the  narrow  idea  of 
nationalities.  It  was  afterwards  that  he  rose  to  the  higher 
conception  of  the  suppression  of  States,  to  be  henceforth  re- 
placed by  the  amorphism  of  federal  autonomous  Communes 
Still  hatred  for  the  Germans  was,  so  to  speak,  in  his  blood. 
It  was  never  extinguished,  and,  in  particular,  it  disclosed  itseTf, 
bitter  and  implacable,  in  the  struggle  with  Marx.  It  was 
Bakunin  who  took  the  lead  in  the  International  from  1870,  and 
when  it  lost  all  its  influence,  through  the  divisions  of  parties,  it 
was  the  Bakunist  Alliance  that  organized  in  Europe  the  propa- 
ganda of  revolutionary  Sociahsm. 

It  is  in  the  two  countries  where  the  working  classes  are  best 
organized   for  the  struggle,  England  and  Germany,  that  the 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  209 

International  has   bad   least   influence.      It  was   founded   in 
tondoirj^TtTricluded  in  it^  general  council  some  of  the  leaders 
of  the  working  men's  movement  in  England ;  among  others, 
Odger,  Applegarth,  Lucraft,  and  Hales ;  many  trades  unions 
expressed  their  sympathy  for  the  Association,  and  several  even 
joined  it.     But  they  did  not  furnish  it  with  much  money,  and 
they  have  not  borrowed  from  it  the  revolutionary  spirit.     This 
is  well  shown  in  a  letter  of  one  of  the  members  of  the  Inter- 
national,  Eugene    Dupont,  dated   the    ist  of  January,   1870. 
"The   initiative  of  the  revolution,"  he   writes,   "must   come 
from  France,  but  it  is  in  England  that  it  will  be  accomplished 
in  the  most  radical  manner.     The  peasant  proprietor  has  dis- 
appeared there,  and  landed  property  is  in  the  hands  of  a  few 
persons.     Industry  is  carried  on  by  the  concentration  of  large 
sums  of  capital ;  it  is  there  that  capitalism  has  developed  most 
largely,  and  has  thus  prepared  the  causes  of  its  own  destruction; 
but  it  will  be  foreigners  who  will  have  to  set  the  ball  rolling. 
The  English  have  all  the  material   necessary   for  the  social 
revolution,  but  they  lack  the  spirit  of  generalization  and  revolu- 
tionary fervour."     In  a   book   by    Onslow   York   (Hep worth 
Dixon),  "  The  Secret  History  of  the  International,"  the  con- 
trast between  French  and  English,   as  it  was    manifested  in 
the  early  congresses  of  the  International,  is  well  brought  out. 
"  I  want,"  says  the  Frenchman,  "  to  lay  down  true  principles  / 
andTo  found  a  society  in  which  justice  shall  reign."     "  As  for 
me,"  says  the  Englishman,  "  what  I  seek  is  better  wages  and 
the  Nine  Hours'  Bill."     The  Frenchman  mutters  aside,  "  What 
a  sorry  beast  it  is,  this  John  Bull !  no  ideas,  no  syntheses,  no 
imagination  !     He    will   never   light  the  torch  and  lead   the 
world." 

By  1867  the  International  counted  nearly  thirty  thousand 
members  in  England.  The  general  congress  of  Trades  Unions, 
which  assembled  at  Birmingham,  pledged  all  the  English  asso- 
ciations to  affiliate  themselves  to  it.  One  of  the  resolutions 
declared  "that  the  extension  of  the  principle  of  free  trade 
is  producing  universal  competition,  in  which  the  principal 
weapon  is  the  lowering  of  wages;  that  defence  societies,  in 
order  to  succeed,  ought  to  have  an  understanding  with  those 

p 


2IO  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  other  countries  ;  and  that  the  principles  of  the  International 
will  lead  to  a  lasting  peace  between  the  nations  of  the  world." 

The  principle  of  collectivism  as  applied  to  land,  adopted 
at  the  Congresses  of  Brussels  (1868)  and  of  Bale  (1869),  was 
included  in  the  programme  of  the  advanced  party  of  Land 
Reform.  "  Seeing  that  the  monopoly  of  landed  property  is  the 
source  of  all  the  evils,  social,  moral,  and  political,  from  which 
society  suffers ;  and  that  the  only  remedy  is  to  restore  the 
land  to  its  legitimate  heir :  the  land  shall  be  held  by  the  State, 
which  shall  grant  the  use  of  it  on  conditions  to  be  hereafter 
determined.  The  existing  proprietors  shall  receive  by  way  of 
indemnity  Government  stocks.  The  abolition  of  the  standing 
army,  the  profits  of  the  national  bank,  and  a  direct  progiessive 
tax,  replacing  all  other  taxes,  shall  furnish  the  necessary 
resources  for  this  reform."  Even  in  these  extreme  propositions 
the  juridical  spirit  of  the  English  is  seen.  On  the  Continent, 
when  it  is  proposed  to  confiscate  property,  there  is  no  question 
of  indemnifying  proprietors.  What !  these  bandits,  who  have 
been  robbing  the  people  for  all  these  ages,  are  we  to  pay  them 
more  !  They  may  think  themselves  lucky  if  we  leave  them 
their  skins.  In  England  respect  for  property  survives  even  at 
the  moment  when  it  is  being  abolished,  and  an  equitable 
indemnity  is  accorded  in  consols."  * 

At  the  Congress  of  Bale,  Applegarth,  president  of  the 
General  Association  of  Carpenters,  announced  that  the  eight 
hundred  thousand  members  of  the  trades  unions  were  all 
devoted  to  the  International.  In  1870  it  was  affirmed  that 
two  hundred  and  thirty  working  men's  societies,  with  ninety- 
five  thousand  members,  were  affiliated.  But  these  purely 
platonic  adhesions  brought  little  resources  or  power  to  the 
association.  It  tried  to  found  sections  directly  in  the  manu- 
facturing towns,  and  in  a  congress  held  with  this  object  at 
Manchester,  in  July,  1873,  under  the  presidency  of  Vickery, 
the  red  flag  was  adopted  for  the  Britannic  federation.  "  The 
red  flag,"  said  the  preamble,  "is  the  symbol  of  blood  shed  by 

*  [The  Land  Reformers  of  the  present  day  in  England  areno  longer 
all  distinguished  by  this  respect  for  property. — See  infra,  "Socialism  in 
England."— TV,  J 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  2 1 1 

the  people  for  liberty.  Adopted  by  Socialists  of  all  countries, 
it  represents  the  unity  and  fraternity  of  the  races  of  men, 
while  the  national  banners  represent  hostility  and  war  between 
the  different  States."  Up  to  the  present  John  Bull,  "  this 
stupid  animal,"  does  not  seem  to  have  grasped  the  beauty  of 
this  theory  of  colours.  When  the  red  flag  appears  in  meetings 
and  processions  in  England,  it  is  almost  always  borne  by 
foreigners. 

After  the  schism  of  the  Hague,  Eccarius  and  Hales 
abandoned  Marx.  The  most  violent  became  Bakunists.  The 
great  mass  of  the  working  men,  limiting  their  views  to  the 
present  time  and  to  the  horizon  of  their  island,  remained 
within  the  local  movement  of  their  trades  unions.  The 
International  has,  however,  instilled  into  them  a  sympathy  for 
revolutionary  agitations  abroad,  and  the  idea  of  collective 
ownership  of  the  soil  at  home.  It  is  said  that  they  are  now 
becoming  more  Socialistic,  and  that  they  are  rising  to  "  the 
synthetical  idea  ; "  but  it  is  not  easy  to  measure  the  strength 
of  this  underground  evolution.  "The  Annual  of  Socialism" 
{Jahrhich  der  Soziahoissenschafi),  of  Dr.  Ludwig  Richter,  in 
reviewing  the  progress  of  Socialism  in  civilized  countries  in 
1879,  makes  no  mention  of  England,  "because  there  is  nothing 
to^TflXliBqiitTt."* 

Although  the  International  was  the  outcome  of  German 
Socialism,  since  it  was  Marx  who  formulated  its  principles 
and  created  its  organization,  its  influence  in  Germany  has  been 
still  less  than  in  England.  In  speaking  in  former  chapters  of 
Lassalle  and  Marx,  we  have  sketched  the  growth  of  Socialistic 
ideas  in  Germany ;  we  therefore  need  not  recur  to  it  again. 
The  movement  was  too  independent  and  too  powerful  to  obey 
the  action  of  an  association  which  had  neither  its  head- 
quarters nor  its  roots  in  the  country.  Many  working  men's 
societies  sent  to  the  International  good  wishes  and  even 
adhesions,  but  they  took  from  it  neither  their  doctrines  nor 
their  watchwords,  t 

*  [An  account  of  existing  socialistic  movements  in  England  will  be 
found  appended  to  this  work. — 7>.] 

t  [In  a  book,  Die  Rothe  Internationale,  by  Dr.   Zacher,  Government 


212  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  case  was   otherwise  in  America.      The  introduction 
and  the  progress  of  miUtant  SociaUsm  there  were  due  in  great 
part  to'  the  International.      Long  previously  various  systems 
of  social  organization  had  been  tried  there,  some  proceeding 
from  Protestant  sects,  as  the  Mormons  and  the  Communists 
of  Oneida ;  others  from  French  sects  of  1848,  as  the  Icarians 
of  Cabet  and  the  Phalansterians  of  Considerant.     But  these 
attempts  at  reform  aimed  at  giving  an  example  of  a  more 
equitable  social  order,  and  not  at  organizing  the  struggle  of 
labour  against  capital.     This  was  what  the  International  did. 
A  general  federation  of  working  men's  societies  was  formed 
under  the  name  of  the  "  National  Labour  Union."     It  entered 
into  relations  with  the  general  council  of  the  International, 
and   sent   delegates    to   its    congresses.       German   emigrants 
spread  the  ideas  of  Lassalle  and  Marx  throughout  the  States 
of  the  Union,  and  created  sections  of  the   International   ajt 
San   Francisco,   Chicago,   and   other   places.      The    National 
Labour  Union,  in  its  fifth  congress,  held  at  Cincinnati  on  the 
15th  of  April,   1870,  resolved  to  adopt  the  principles  of  tKe 
International  J   and  the  American   federation    of  the   section 
of  the  International,  which  assembled  in    congress  at  Phila- 
delphia   in   April,    1874,    declared    that    they   accepted    the 
resolutions  of  the  Hague. 

Grievous  strikes,  the  intensity  of  the  industrial  crisis,  and 
above  all  personal  disputes  among  the  leaders,  led  to  a  rapid 

Assessor  in  Germany  (Berlin,  1884),  an  account  is  given  of  the  two  con- 
gresses held  by  the  German  Social  Democrats  since  the  passing  of  the 
Anti-Socialist  law.  The  first  was^h^id,  at  Wyden,  near  Ossingen,  in 
Switzerland,  from  the  20th  to  the  23rd  of  August,  1880,  ancj  is  remarkable 
for  the  definitive  schism  which  then  occurred  between  the  radical  group, 
represented  by  Johann  Most  and  Hasselmann,  and  the  so-called  moderate 
party,  headed  by  Bebel  and  Liebknecht.  The  second  congress  assembled 
at  Copenhagen  on  the  29th  of  March,  1883,  and  was  attended  by  sixty 
delegates.  They  congratulated  themselves  that,  in  spite  of  the  Excep- 
tional Law  and  persecution  of  all  kinds,  they  could  look  forward  with 
hope  and  confidence  to  the  future  ;  and  they  passed  a  resolution  to  the 
effect  that  they  had  no  confidence  in  the  ruling  classes,  but  were  convinced 
that  the  so-called  social  reform  was  only  a  ruse  to  divert  the  working 
classes  from  the  right  course.  Dr.  Zacher  says  that  the  Anti-Socialist 
legislation  has  entirely  suppressed  all  overt  agitation,  and  that  the  secret 
agitation  which  has  taken  us  place  "can  hardly  be  said  to  be  really  more 
formidable." — TV.] 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE    OF  NIHILISM.  21 3 

decline  of  the  power  of  the  International.  The  general 
council,  which,  in  accordance  with  the  decision  of  the  Congress 
of  the  Hague,  had  fixed  its  seat  at  New  York,  exercised  no 
influence  there  and  soon  ceased  to  exist.  Nevertheless,  the 
seeds  sown  by  the  International  grew  apace.  The  struggle 
of  labourers  against  capitalists  is  organized  everywhere  to-day, 
and  the  Labour  newspapers  constantly  notify  strikes.  In  the 
late  elections  in  California  a  large  number  of  Socialists  were 
returned.  Macaulay's  famous  prophecy  of  the  barbarians  that 
will  one  day  appear  in  the  midst  of  the  American  cities  does 
not  seem  so  improbable  as  it  did  thirty  years  ago.  The 
remarkable  book,  "  Progress  and  Poverty,"  recently  published 
by  Mr.  Henry  George,  at  San  Francisco,  graphically  describes 
the  circumstances  that  are  bringing  these  "  barbarians  "  into 
existence. 

The  only  efficacious  preservative  against  revolutionary 
Socialism  is  the  diffusion  of  property.  A  new  proof  of  this 
is  presented  by  the  fact  that,  in  the  Scandinavian  countries, 
the  International  was  the  less  successful  in  proportion  as  the 
agrarian  system  was  the  more  democratic ;  that  is  to  say,  not 
at  all  in  Norway,  to  a  small  extent  in  Sweden,  and  more  in 
Denmark.  The  International  penetrated  into  Denmark  in 
the  spring  of  187 1,  a  short  time  after  the  fall  of  the  Commune. 
The  a^DOStle  of  the  association  was  Pio,  a  retired  military 
officer.  He  found  a  devoted  lieutenant  in  Paul  Geleff,  who 
useid  to  write  in  an  Ultramontane  newspaper,  Heiindal.  Geleff 
went  through  the  different  towns  preaching  the  "  glad  tidings," 
and  he  succeeded  in  founding  sections  in  the  greater  number 
of  them,  at  Aalborg,  Randers,  Aarhuus,  Skanderborg,  Horsens, 
Odense,  and  Nakskov.  At  the  beginning  of  1872  these  sections 
already  counted  eight  thousand  members,  of  whom  five 
thousand  belonged  to  the  capital.  Many  women  joined  the 
movement.  Numerous  strikes  took  place  from  this  time  forth. 
Pio  and  Geleff  convoked  a  great  meeting  in  the  open  air  on 
the  Nordenfeld,  but  the  police  prohibited  it.  They  came  to 
blows,  and  blood  was  shed.  The  leaders  were  arrested  and 
condemned  to  several  years'  imprisonment.  At  the  same  time, 
a  decree  of  the   Minister  of  Justice,  having  in  view  article 


214  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

87  of  the  Code,  interdicted  the  "  International  Association 
of  Labourers  "  in  Denmark.  The  measure  proved  illusory. 
The  Socialists  constituted  themselves  under  the  name  of  the 
"  Democratic  Association  of  Working  Men,"  and  found  in 
a  cabinet-maker,  named  Pihl,  an  energetic  and  dexterous 
leader. 

Numerous  meetings  took  place  from  time  to  time  in  the 
open  air  after  the  English  fashion.  On  the  5th  of  June,  1874, 
more  than  fifteen  thousand  working  men  belonging  to  the 
different  sections  of  the  International  assembled  at  Diirgarten, 
in  the  suburbs  of  Copenhagen.  Trade  banners  and  twenty- 
two  red  flags  floated  to  the  wind.  Universal  suffrage  exists 
in  Denmark,  but  there  is  only  one  large  town,  the  capital,  and 
the  "peasants,  of  whom  many  are  proprietors,  form  in  the 
Chamber  the  democratic  party.  They  demand  the  strictest 
economy  and  simplicity  of  manners,  and  they  object  to  the 
expenditure  made  in  the  towns.  They  constitute  a  solid 
barrier  against  sudden  and  violent  innovations.  The  Liberal 
party  has  also  endeavoured  to  gain  influence  with  the  working 
men.  MM.  Rimestod  and  Sonne  have  favoured  the  establish- 
ment of  working  men's  associations,  similar  to  those  founded 
in  Germany,  under  the  inspiration  of  Schulze-Delitzsch  and 
Max  Hirsch.  There  are  already  more  than  a  hundred  of  them 
scattered  throughout  the  country.  The  Socialist  party  was 
rudely  shaken  by  the  dishonesty  of  its  two  chiefs,  Pio  and 
Geleff",  who,  under  pretext  of  founding  an  experimental  colony 
in  America,  embezzled  the  funds  of  the  Association.  A  female 
writer,  Jacquette  Liljenkrantz,  stands  at  the  head  of  the 
labour  movement,  to  which  she  has  devoted  her  pen,  her 
time,  and  her  resources.  In  many  parts,  following  the  example 
in  Russia,  women  are  beginning  to  take  an  active  part  in 
Socialist  intrigues. 

In  Sweden  the  ground  is  still  less  favourable  for  the  de- 
velopment of  Socialism,  for  eighty-five  per  cent,  of  the  popula- 
tion inhabit  the  country,  and  the  families  of  the  cultivators 
still  manufacture  many  of  the  articles  which  they  require,  such 
as  utensils,  tools,  farming  implements,  cloth,  and  coarse  stuffs. 
The   large  system  of  industry  exists  only  in   some  districts. 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  2 1  5 

The  country  is  admirably  administered ;  education  reaches  all 
classes,  and  well-being  is  real  and  widely  diffused.  Sweden 
and  Norway  have  seemed  to  me  to  be  the  happiest  countries 
in^Europe,  and  lEe'^bsl  worthy  of  being  so.  No  doubt 
Socialistic  ideas  have  penetrated  there  as  everywhere  else,  and 
from  time  to  time  strikes  break  out,  especially  among  the  ' 
miners ;  but  the  International  has  been  unable  to  take  deep 
root.  Axel  Krook,  a  rival  of  Schulze-Delitzsch,  has  brought 
about  the  establishment  of  co-operative  societies  both  of  pro- 
duction and  of  distribution. 

In  Norway  the  famous  association  has  had  still  less  suc- 
cess. In  September,  1873,  Jansen,  a  working  saddler  from 
Copenhagen,  went  to  Christiania  to  preach  Socialism.  Nobody 
would  let  him  a  room,  not  even  the  innkeepers.  At  last,  in 
the  environs  of  Tyreholmen,  he  was  able  to  hold  an  open-air 
meeting,  at  which  thirty  persons  were  present.  Hagen,  a  Nor- 
wegian carpenter,  joined  him  in  spreading  Socialistic  ideas, 
while  basing  them  on  Christianity.  Some  students  followed 
them,  and  a  society  was  founded.  Nevertheless,  these  pro- 
pagandist efforts  met  with  no  support.  A  German  Socialist 
newspaper  at  Hamburg  thus  gloomily  sums  up  the  results  of 
this  campaign :  "  It  becomes  more  and  more  evident  that 
Norway  is  a  very  ungrateful  field  for  any  efforts  for  the  im- 
provement of  the  lot  of  humanity." 

The   examples    of    Switzerland   and    Belgium   prove   that  ' 
nothing  js   more  efficacious   for   attenuating   the   dangers    of  \ , 
Socialism  than  liberty.     It  was  in  these  two  countries  that  the  '^  \ 
International  used  to  hold  its  congresses ;  its  propaganda  was  1; 
in  no  way  interfered  with ;  it  enjoyed  the  most  absolute  liberty 
of  assembly,  of  the  press,  of  association,  and  of  speech,  and 
yet  order  was  never  seriously  disturbed.    In  France,  where  there 
was  no  right  of  assembly  or  of  association,   and  where  the 
International   was   twice   prosecuted   and   finally   interdicted, 
matters  ended  in  the  Commune.     In  Italy,  prosecutions,  trials, 
convictions,  exceptional  measures,  have  not  been  wanting,  and 
there  have  been  disturbances,  insurrections,  and  frightful  assassi- 
nations.    In  Spain,  where  there  has  been  still  more  rigorous 
suppression,  the  majority  of  the  large  towns  fell  into  the  hands 


2l6  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  the  insurgent  Cantonalists.  In  Germany  there  have  been 
repeated  attempts  at  regicide ;  finally,  in  Russia,  where  all 
freedom  is  suppressed,  there  have  been  unheard-of  crimes  and 
a  situation  worse  than  a  revolution,  for  it  is  Society  itself  that 
is  in  a  state  of  siege. 

In  every  country  there  exist  two  parties  :  that  which  wishes 
to  conserve  what  is,  or  even  to  re-establish  what  has  been ; 
and  that  which  seeks  to  reform,  and  sometimes,  in  its  im- 
patience, to  destroy  everything.  Just  as  the  motion  of  the 
earth  is  the  resultant  of  centripetal  and  centrifugal  forces,  so 
Society  moves  on  under  the  combined  action  of  the  spirit  of 
conservation  and  the  spirit  of  reform.  Try  to  suppress  them, 
and  you  will  provoke  alternately  revolutions  and  reactions. 
Give  them  free  play,  and  progress  will  be  fulfilled  by  means 
of  a  series  of  compromises  and  reforms,  as  in  England,  Belgium, 
and  Switzerland. 

Switzerland  seemed  to  present  a  soil  admirably  prepared  for 
Sociahsm.  As  early  as  1843  Weitling  had  preached  Com- 
munism there.  The  refugees  of  the  insurrections  of  1848 
had  founded  associations  there,  amongst  others  those  of  the 
"  German  Brothers "  {^Deutsche  Briider).  The  Griitliverein, 
which  had  a  newspaper,  the  Griltlianer,  and  sections  in  the 
majority  of  the  cantons,  was  gained  over  to  the  ideas  of 
the  Socialist  democrats.  The  Russians  Bakunin  and  Utin,  the 
Italians  Rosetti  and  Ghalino,  and  agitators  banished  from  all 
countries,  arrived  in  Switzerland,  the  only  asylum  which  remained 
to  them  on  the  Continent.  Johann  Philippe  Becker,  a  friend 
of  Marx,  was  here  the  apostle  of  the  International.  In  1864 
he  succeeded  in  founding  the  first  section  of  the  Association, 
and  soon  sections  were  established  in  the  majority  of  the  towns 
and  industrial  centres.  At  one  time  there  were  thirty-two  in 
Geneva  alone.  Becker  also  published  a  journal,  der  Vorhote, 
and  attached  to  it  a  central  committee  whose  action  was  not 
confined  to  Switzerland. 

In  the  French-speaking  cantons  the  sections  grouped  them- 
selves under  the  name  of  the  Federation  de  la  Suisse  romattde; 
but  soon  the  contest  between  Marx  and  Bakunin  found  its 
echo  among  them.     The  sections  of  the  Jura  pronounced  for 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  21/ 

Bakunin,  and  the  majority  of  those  of  Geneva  against  him. 
Thus  two  federations  were  constituted.  The  working  men's 
societies  of  German  Switzerland  assembled  in  general  congress 
at  Olten  in  1873,  ^"^  ^"^  Winterthur  in  1874.  The  pro- 
gramme adopted  was  very  moderate.  There  was  no  question 
of  collectivism,  but  merely  of  the  regulation  of  labour  in  the 
manufactories,  and  of  the  means  of  intellectual  and  technical 
culture.  The  Socialists  of  the  Jura,  however,  guided  by  James 
Guillaume,  adopted  the  extreme  ideas  of  Bakunism.  It  was 
in  this  centre  that  the  Avant-garde  was  published,  a  paper  which 
was  condemned  at  Geneva  on  account  of  an  article  on  regicide 
by  a  refugee  named  Brousse.  For  this  group,  to  destroy  and 
to  kill  appear  to  be  the  sole  means  of  improving  human  affairs. 
On  this  point  I  may  quote  a  curious  passage  from  the  number 
of  the  Bulletin  of  the  Federation  of  the  Jura,  which  appeared  on 
the  4th  of  March,  1876.  A  group  of  French  refugees  resident 
at  New  York,  calling  themselves  Authoritarian  Revolutionists, 
demanded,  in  a  manifesto,  that  in  future  all  reactionaries  should 
be  killed  without  mercy.  The  Bulletin  replied  that  hatred  is 
a  bad  counsellor,  that  the  reactionaries  were  to  be  counted 
by  millions,  and  that  they  consisted  not  only  of  magistrates, 
priests,  officials,  and  proprietors,  but  also  of  the  great  mass 
of  the  people,  who  did  not  at  all  understand  humanitarian 
collectivism.  Universal  suffrage,  said  the  Bulletin,  would  hardly 
give  us  half  a  million  of  votes  :  we  should  accordingly  have 
to  cut  the  throats  of  all  the  rest,  which  would  be  impossible. 
The  essential  point  is  to  rid  ourselves  of  the  leaders  :  for  this 
a  few  thousand  heads  would  suffice. 

Violent  language  of  this  kind  causes  little  uneasiness  in 
Switzerland.  No  repression  or  interference  is  attempted.  New 
SociaHstic  journals  and  societies  come  and  go.  The  best  of 
their  forces  is  employed  in  self-destruction,  and  the  social  order 
seems  in  no  wise  imperilled.  It  is  true  that  society  there  rests 
on  a  very  wide  and  very  democratic  basis.  Not  only  is  there 
universal  suffrage  in  Switzerland,  but  there  is  also  direct  govern- 
melTrT)y  assembly  of  the  whole  people  (^Landsgemeinde),  as  in 
the  primitive  cantons,  or  by  the  referendum  or  plebiscite,  as 
in  the  other  cantons.     In  the  revision  of  the  Federal  Constitu- 


2l8  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tion  of  1874  as  many  as  535,000  electors,  or  ninety  per  cent, 
of  the  whole  number,  recorded  their  votes.  The  collective 
property  of  the  Commune  is  also  to  be  found  in  existence 
under  the  old  institution  of  the  Albnends.  There  is  no  standing 
army,  hardly  any  taxation,  and  few  police.  The  Commune  is 
autonomous,  and  the  Canton  is  formed  by  the  federation  of  the 
Communes.  What  more  could  "Anarchism"  require?  It 
is  true  that  they  have  not  yet  got  Bakunin's  "  Amorphism."  * 

The  International  gained  a  footing  in  Belgium  in  1865  ; 
but  it  was  not  until  December,  1866,  that  the  first  section  was 
constituted,  at  Liege.  We  see  in  the  report  of  the  delegate, 
De  Paepe,  at  the  Congress  of  Lausanne,  that  a  very  active 
section  had  been  founded  at  Brussels,  and  that  the  working 
men's  societies  of  Ghent  and  Antwerp  were  connected  with 
it.  At  the  Congress  of  Brussels  in  1868  the  delegate  Frere 
announced  that  several  very  large  sections  had  been  formed 
in  the  coal-basin  of  Charleroi,  and  that  at  Verviers  "  the  free 
labourers  "  had  joined  and  had  even  started  a  newspaper,  the 
Mirabeau,  which,  strange  to  say,  still  exists.  At  Bruges  a 
section  was  formed  with  a  journal  called  the  Vooruii,  and  soon 
afterwards  there  appeared  at  Antwerp  the  Werkei;  which  exer- 
cised a  great  influence  over  the  working  men  in  the  Flemish 
towns.  In  December  all  the  sections  formed  a  federation. 
A  general  council  of  sixteen  members  was  chosen  and  a  journal 
started,  the  Internationale.  The  sections  were  grouped  accord- 
ing to  the  coal-basins,  and  were  all  to  send  delegates  to  the 
general  congress  held  every  year.  It  was  almost  a  reproduc- 
tion of  the  parent  association.  The  strikes  and  conflicts  which 
resulted  therefrom,   in   the   neighbourhood  of  Charleroi   and 

*  [In  Switzerland,  according  to  Dr.  Zacher  {Die  rothc  Internationale), 
the  entire  body  of  Socialists  of  all  shades,  in  1880,  hardly  numbered  15,000 
out  of  a  population  of  three  millions.  They  have  been  unable  to  organize  their 
forces  owing  to  internal  dissensions  between  the  various  sections,  the  split 
between  the  Most-Hasselmann  and  Bebel-Liebknecht  groups  of  Germany 
finding  its  counterpart  in  Switzerland.  In  September,  1S83,  a  congress 
(Allgemein  Schweizerischer  Arbeitertag)  was  held  at  Zurich,  at  which  176 
delegates  were  present,  and  an  executive  committee  was  formed  with  the 
object  of  uniting  the  several  groups,  viz.  the  Griitlianer,  the  Gewerkschaftler, 
the  German  Working  Men's  Unions  (Deutsche  Arbeitervereine),  the  Swiss 
Social  Democrats,  and  the  German  Social  Democrats.  By  the  middle  of 
November,  1883,  it  had,  however,  enrolled  only  36S0  members. — Tr.]^ 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  2ig 

Seraing,  attracted  a  great  deal  of  attention  to  the  International. 
The  leaders,  however,  were  unwilling  to  encourage  strikes,  for 
fear  they  should  fail.  Thus,  at  the  second  National  Congress 
of  Antwerp,  which  sat  from  the  ist  to  the  15th  of  August,  1873, 
it  was  resolved  that  the  federations  should  make  every  prepara- 
tion for  the  universal  strike,  but  that  it  was  necessary  to  give 
up  entirely  partial  strikes,  except  "  in  a  case  of  legitimate 
defence." 

At  the  time  of  its  greatest  diffusion  the  International 
counted  eight  federations  :  those,  namely,  of  Brussels,  Ghent, 
Antwerp,  Liege,  the  Vesdre,  the  Borinage,  the  Centre,  and 
Charleroi.  As  to  the  number  of  members,  it  has  been  variously 
estimated  from  one  to  two  hundred  thousand ;  but  as  member- 
ship is  acquired  by  a  purely  platonic  adhesion,  exact  statistics 
are  impossible.  However,  the  organization  has  been  more 
complete  here  than  anywhere  else.  After  the  schism  of  the 
Hague,  the  Belgian  Internationalists  pronounced  against  the 
exclusion  of  Bakunin,  without  however  adhering  to  his  doctrines. 
Since  the  Universal  Association  has  ceased  to  operate,  the 
Belgian  Socialists  have  attempted  to  reconstitute  it  on  a  national 
basis.  Two  tendencies  exist :  some,  like  the  German  Socialists, 
wish  to  obtain  power  by  means  of  the  elections,  and  they  call 
for  universal  suffrage  and  common  action  with  the  bourgeois 
radicals  ;  others,  represented  by  the  newspaper  Ze  Mirabeau, 
assert,  like  the  Nihilists,  that  it  is  necessary  to  begin  by  de- 
stroying everything.  "  Whoever,"  says  this  journal,  "  has  not 
borne  the  rags  of  wretchedness  cannot  desire  the  true  revolu- 
tion. The  labourer  alone  can  bring  it  about.  All  weapons 
are  employed  against  him  ;  be  it  so  :  an  eye  for  an  eye  and  a 
tooth  for  a  tooth.  Let  us  put  in  operation  fire,  sword,  poison, 
and  petroleum.  Let  us  make  a  tabula  rasa.  Let  us  level  to 
the  ground  this  rotten  society  based  on  our  misery  and  oiir 
ignorance.  As  conquerors,  we  shall  build  up  a  new  society 
founded  on  labour  and  justice." 

Prosecutions  on  account  of  these  appeals  to  violence  having 
only  given  them  a  notoriety  that  they  would  not  otherwise  have 
possessed,  all  interference  with  them  has  ceased.  During  the 
past   few   years  Socialism   does   not  appear   to  have   gained  \\ 


220  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

ground.  Nevertheless,  Belgium  presents  conditions  excep- 
tionally favourable  to  its  development.  The  number  of 
working  men  is  very  considerable,  and  as  the  population  is  the 
most  dense  in  Europe,  wages  are  lower  than  in  the  other 
western  countries. 

The  International  did  not  penetrate  into  Holland  until 
towards  1869.  A  section  was  constituted  at  Amsterdam  with 
a  paper,  De  Standaart  des  Folks.  It  soon  began  to  radiate  and 
to  found  other  sections  in  the  principal  towns — at  Arnhem, 
Utrecht,  Haarlem,  Leeuwaarden,  and  Rotterdam.  A  general 
association,  Hei  Nederlandsch  Werklieden-Verbond,  was  estab- 
lished with  the  intention  of  grouping  all  the  working  men's 
societies  of  the  country.  But  the  local  spirit  of  individuality, 
which  is  very  pronounced  in  Holland,  put  numerous  obstacles 
in  the  way.  After  the  first  period  of  expansion  and  enthusiasm, 
the  International,  even  before  its  disappearance,  lost  a  portion 
of  its  conquests.  The  Socialistic  movement  is  still,  however, 
represented  by  a  few  groups  and  by  the  newspapers  Oost  en 
West  and  Recht  voor  alien.  Here,  too,  complete  liberty  has 
prevented  any  explosion. 

Socialism  percolated  from  Germany  into  Austria  as  early  as 
1866.  The  International  endeavoured  to  organize  it  as  early 
as  1868,  principally  by  means  of  the  apostolate  of  Bernar3t 
Becker.  In  order  to  demand  universal  suifrage,  it  instigated, 
on  several  occasions,  meetings  at  which  thousands  of  working 
men  were  present.  Its  organ  was  the  Arheiter  Blatt.  In 
January,  1869,  the  number  of  members  was  at  least  twenty 
thousand,  of  whom  Vienna  supplied  ten  thousand.  In  February 
of  this  same  year  the  great  association  of  Tehee  working  men 
joined  it  and  extended  its  ramifications  to  Prague.  In  February 
the  SociaUsts  convoked  a  great  gathering  in  which  about  thirty 
thousand  persons  took  part.  On  the  13th  of  December,  the  day 
of  the  opening  of  Parliament,  more  than  a  hundred  thousand 
working  men  congregated  in  front  of  the  palace  where  the  Parlia- 
ment met,  and  eleven  delegates  were  admitted  to  present  a  peti- 
tion to  the  president  of  the  council.  Count  Taafe.  This  caused 
alarm.  Prosecutions  were  ordered  and  some  sentences  pro- 
nounced.   The  police  left  the  Socialist  journals  and  associations 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  221 

no  longer  in  peace.  The  two  leading  papers,  Gleichheit  and 
Volkswille,  after  having  been  frequently  seized  and  suspended, 
at  last  ceased  to  appear. 

In  Hungary,  where  there  is  greater  liberty,  a  propagandist 
committee  was  formed,  and  a  newspaper,  the  Allgemeine  Arbeiter 
Zeitung,  was  published  in  German  and  in  Magyar.  In  June, 
187 1,  a  great  demonstration  was  held  in  honour  of  the 
Commune.  The  workmen,  leaving  work,  marched  through  the 
streets  of  Pesth  bearing  crape  and  black  flags.  Prosecutions 
for  high  treason  followed,  and  the  ringleader,  Sigmund  Polliker, 
was  condemned  to  six  months'  imprisonment.  Nevertheless, 
Socialistic  propaganda  penetrated  into  all  the  towns  of  the 
empire,  and,  what  is  very  unusual,  at  one  time  it  seemed  to 
make  head  even  in  the  rural  districts.  Socialist  societies  of 
peasants  were  formed  in  the  villages  of  Carinthia  under  the 
name  of  Freie  Bauernvereine ;  they  had  an  organ,  der 
Bauernwille,  edited  by  Karl  Achar,  a  farmer's  son ;  but  the 
animosities  and  reciprocal  accusations  of  the  two  principal 
leaders,  Oberwinder  and  Scheu,  checked  their  progress.  The 
ideas  spread  by  the  International  have  still  a  considerable 
number  of  partisans  among  the  working  men  of  the  different 
provinces  of  Austria-Hungary,  but  their  attitude  has  latterly 
become  less  revolutionary.  The  conflict  of  races,  always  so 
fierce,  effects  a  diversion. 

What  is  called  the  labour  movement  is  very  active  in  Italy. 
When  I  visited  the  country  in  1879  I  found  in  the  towns  a 
great  number  of  working  men's  societies :  people's  banks, 
under  the  direction  of  the  well-known  Deputy  Luzzatti,  the 
"  Italian  Schulze-Delitzsch ; "  aid  societies,  often  under  the 
patronage  of  a  great  name,  such  as  Pepoli  at  Bologna,  and 
Teano  at  Rome ;  co-operative  societies ;  societies  for  the 
study  of  social  subjects;  trades  unions,  to  say  nothing  of  repub- 
lican circles,  secret  societies,  and  the  famous  Cinvii  Barsanti* 

*  In  1874  a  riot  took  place  in  the  barracks  of  Pavia,  and  Sergeant 
Barsanti,  considered  as  the  leader  of  the  affair,  was  shot.  It  was 
asserted  that  he  had  nothing  to  do  with  it,  seeing  that  he  was  absent  from 
the  barracks  ;  and  in  order  to  rehabilitr.te  his  memory,  the  revolutionists 
created  associations  bearing  his  name — Circoli  Barsanti.  Their  aim  was 
to  attract  soldiers  and  non-commissioned  officers,  in  order  to  enrol  them  in 
their  party. 


222  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Socialism  is  invading  the  country  parts ;  an  exceptional  thirig 
in  Europe,  save  perhaps  in  Spain.  The  peasantry  are  reduced 
to  extreme  poverty  through  excessive  rent  and  taxes.  Wages 
are  entirely  insufficient.  The  agricultural  labourers  live  crowded 
together  in  straggling  villages,  and  obtain  only  an  intermittent 
employment.  Thus  a  rural  proletariat  is  formed,  more 
miserable  even  than  that  of  the  industrial  centres.  Shut  out 
from  ownership  by  the  latifimdia,  they  become  the  enemies 
of  a  social  order  which  is  crushing  them.  Elsewhere,  and 
notably  in  France,  in  agricultural  gatherings,  in  assemblies  and 
in  the  army,  the  country  folk  are  the  mainstay  of  the  existing 
regime.  In  Italy  a  serious  danger  will  arise  when  revolutionary 
ideas  shall  have  been  carried  into  the  army  by  the  sons  of  the 
peasantry. 

Some  recent  trials  show  clearly  the  two  aspects  of  Socialism 
in  Italy,  namely,  the  rural  Socialism  produced  by  po^'erty,  and 
the  cosmopolitan  Socialism  of  Nihilism.  The  first  occurrence 
was  as  follows:  At  the  beginning  of  April,  1877,  some  thirty 
persons,  who  came  nobody  knows  whence,  used  to  meet  every 
evening  in  a  house  which  they  had  hired  at  San  Lupo,  a  village 
in  the  province  of  Benevento.  On  the  night  of  the  6th  of  April 
the  carabineers  who  were  watching  the  house  are  fired  at,  and 
two  of  them  fall,  severely  wounded.  After  this  exploit  the  band 
advance  towards  the  neighbouring  village  of  Letino,  with  a  red 
and  black  flag  at  their  head.  They  take  possession  of  the 
town-hall.  The  councillors  demand  their  discharge  ;  it  is  given 
to  them  in  these  terms  :  "We,  the  undersigned,  hereby  declare 
that  we  have  seized  the  municipality  of  Letino  by  armed  force 
in  the  name  of  the  social  revolution."  Then  follow  the 
signatures.  They  carry  out  to  the  market-place,  to  the  foot  of 
the  cross  that  stands  there,  the  cadastral  surveys  and  civil 
registers,  and  set  them  on  fire.  The  peasants  quickly  crowd 
around,  while  one  of  the  insurgents  makes  a  great  speech.  He 
explains  that  the  movement  is  a  general  one,  and  that  the 
people  are  free.  The  king  is  fallen  and  the  social  republic 
proclaimed.  i^pplause  follows.  The  women  demand  the 
immediate  partition  of  the  lands.  The  leaders  reply,  "You 
have  arms,  you  are  free.     Make  the  partition  for  yourselves." 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  223 

The  cur^,  Fortini,  who  was  also  a  municipal  councillor,  mounts 
on  the  pedestal  of  the  cross  and  says  that  these  men,  who  are 
come  to  establish  equality,  are  the  true  apostles  of  the  Lord, 
and  that  this  is  the  meaning  of  the  Gospel.  He  then  places 
himself  at  the  head  of  the  band  and  leads  them  to  the 
neighbouring  village  of  Gallo,  crying,  "  Long  live  the  Social 
Revolution." 

The  cure  of  Gallo,  Tamburini,  comes  forward  to  receive 
them  and  presents  them  to  his  flock.  "  Fear  nothing,"  he  says, 
"  they  are  honest  folk;  there  has  been  a  change  of  government 
and  a  burning  of  the  registers."  {Buona  genie  ;  non  temete. 
Cambiamento  di  governo  ed  incendio  di  carte.)  The  crowd 
appear  delighted.  The  muskets  of  the  national  guard  are 
distributed  among  them.  The  registers  are  carried  out  to  the 
public  square  and  make  a  great  blaze.  In  the  mill  the  people 
destroy  the  hated  instrument  for  calculating  the  tax  to  be  paid 
for  the  grinding.  The  enthusiasm  reaches  its  height.  The 
vicar  embraces  the  leader,  who  wears  a  red  belt.  The  women 
weep  for  joy.  No  more  taxes,  no  more  rent;  everybody 
equal ;  general  emancipation  !  But  soon  they  hear  that  the 
troops  are  approaching.  The  band  flies  for  safety  into  the 
forest  of  Matesa.  Unhappily,  the  elements  are  less  merciful 
than  the  peasants.  Everything  is  buried  in  snow,  and  the  cold 
is  intense.  The  liberators  die  of  hunger.  They  are  taken,  and, 
in  the  month  of  August,  1878,  they  are   brought  up  at  the 

Assizes  of  Capua.     The  leaders  were  Count  G ,  of  Imola, 

C ,  a  doctor  of  law,  and  M ,  a  chemist.     The  two  cures 

were  included  among  the  thirty-seven  prisoners. 

The  upshot  of  the  adventure  was  not  the  least  extraordinary 
part.  The  counsel  for  the  accused  pleaded  that  the  matter  was 
a  political  offence,  and  was  covered  by  the  amnesty  granted  by 
King  Humbert  on  coming  to  the  throne.  The  jury  acquitted 
them.  Meanwhile  one  of  the  carabineers  had  died  and  the 
other  was  crippled  for  life.  Was  it  not  like  a  page  of  romance  ? 
It  gives  food  for  reflection,  however.  It  proves  how  readily; 
the  idea  of  a  social  revolution,  even  when  presented  |  '\ 
under  an  almost  burlesque  form,  is  accepted  by  the  rural 
populations  and  their  clergy.       Small  agrarian   insurrections, 


i 


224  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

causing  bloodshed,  are  constantly  breaking  out  both  in  the 
north  and  in  the  south.  In  1882  that  of  Calatabiano,  in  Sicily, 
threatened  to  extend.  As  Marquis  Pepoli,  speaking  of  the 
troubles  of  Budrio  and  Molinella,  said,  it  is  empty  stomachs 
that  revolt.  The  captain  of  carabineers  who  put  down  these 
disorders  replied  to  the  prefect,  "  E  questmie  di  fame  ;  "  "  It 
is  a  question  of  hunger."  It  is  not  uncommon  to  see  muni- 
cipal authorities  favouring  these  risings.  To  take  one  character- 
istic incident  from  many  others,  at  San  Giovanni-Rotondo,  in 
La  Puglia,  the  mayor  used  to  give  Socialistic  conferences,  and 
the  municipality  used  to  have  the  reports  printed  and  circulated 
at  its  own  expense.  At  San  Nicandio  and  at  Lezina  the 
mayors  urge  the  peasants  to  divide  the  lands  amongst  them- 
selves. When  property  is  the  privilege  of  the  few,  spoliation 
becomes  the  wish  of  the  many. 

Next,  with  regard  to  the  cosmopolitan  and  Nihilistic 
Socialism — a  case  against  an  association  of  Internationalists 
was  recently  tried  at  Florence.  The  prisoners,  to  the  number 
of  fifteen,  were  almost  all  very  intelligent  working  men.  They 
had  been  enlisted  by  two  ladies,  one  of  whom,  Madame 
Kulischofif,  is  a  Russian,  and  the  other,  Madame  Pezzi,  is  an 
Italian.  Madame  Kulischoff  is  very  well  informed.  She 
speaks  several  languages,  pursues  scientific  studies,  and  has 
been  through  the  course  of  the  university  of  Pisa.  At  the 
court  of  Assizes  she  was  full  of  witticisms.  When  the  indict- 
ment was  being  distributed,  "  Quite  right,"  she  said  ;  "  hand 
round  the  libretto  before  the  performance  begins."  She  boldly 
proclaimed  her  Communistic  theories  on  all  subjects.  Madame 
Pezzi  was  at  the  head  of  the  Florentine  section  of  Lady  Inter- 
nationalists. Natta,  the  principal  prisoner,  is  a  very  able 
engineer.  He  developed  the  programme  of  the  Socialist  party 
to  which  he  belongs.  He  desires  anarchy,  collectivism,  the 
destruction  of  the  juridical  family,  and  the  abohtion  of  all 
official  religions.  It  is  easy  to  recognize  the  teaching  of 
Bakunin. 

In  all  parts  of  Italy  I  was  informed  that  Socialism  is  gaining 
over  the  working  men  and  the  youth  of  the  nation.  At  Naples 
the  students  said  to  me,  "The  most  advanced  of  us  are  no 


y 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  225 

longer  mere  republicans.  Of  what  avail  to  overthrow  a  king 
more  devoted  to  his  country  than  the  best  president  ?  Many 
of  us,  however,  are  Socialists."  At  Bologna,  the  Prefect, 
Marquis  Gravina,  said  to  me,  "I  do  not  think  that  there  are 
more  than  five  hundred  working  men  regularly  affiliated  to 
the  International,  but  almost  all  of  them  have  adopted  its 
ideas."  In  the  working  men's  societies  visited  by  me  I 
heard  repeatedly,  "  Those  who  do  nothing  live  in  opulence  ; 
we  labour  and  yet  we  are  in  extreme  want.  That  cannot 
last." 

The  first  working  men's  societies  in  Italy,  dating  from  1848, 
were  founded  under  the  inspiration  of  Mazzini.  In  1863  they 
numbered  453  with  111,608  members,  and  in  1875  more  than 
1000  with  about  200,000  associates.  A  good  many  of  them — 
over  300 — were  federated  so  as  to  constitute  the  "  Fraternal 
Union  of  Working  Men's  Societies "  {Societa  operate  italiane 
affratellate).  They  have  a  managing  committee  sitting  at  Rome, 
where  a  congress  is  held  almost  every  year.  Mazzini,  after  his 
secession  from  the  International,  became  more  and  more  hostile 
to  it  in  proportion  as  the  influence  of  Bakunin  over  it  increased. 
He  reproached  it,  in  the  first  place,  for  denying  the  notion  of 
God,  the  sole  basis  of  right  in  the  name  of  which  the  labourers 
could  demand  justice ;  secondly,  for  suppressing  the  Father- 
land, the  essential  form  of  human  brotherhood ;  and  lastly,  for 
abolishing  property,  the  sole  incentive  to  the  production  of 
more  than  men  require  for  their  immediate  wants,  and  conse- 
quently the  sole  agent  of  economic  progress.  He  did  not 
reject  social  reforms.  On  the  contrary,  he  sought  for  a  system 
which  would  ensure  the  union  of  capital  and  labour,  and  would 
transform  property  without  abolishing  it ;  but  he  had  a  horror 
of  Communism.  He  condemned  with  indignation  the  Com- 
mune of  Paris,  just  as,  in  1848,  he  had  cursed  "  the  days  of 
June."  The  Anarchists  reproached  him  bitterly  for  doing  so, 
and  Bakunin  undertook  to  "  settle "  him  in  his  pamphlet 
entitled  "The  Political  Theology  of  Mazzini  and  the  Inter- 
national." * 

Mazzini  was  not  an  Economist.     He  looked  for  salvation  to 

*  Published  in  1871,  without  name  of  printer  or  place  of  publication. 

Q 


226  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

the  elevating  influence  of  Republican  institutions.  His  disciples 
have  inherited  his  hatred  against  the  International.  Alberto 
Mario,  one  of  the  best  known  leaders  of  the  Republican  party, 
never  misses  an  opportunity  of  violently  attacking  the  Inter- 
nationalists, whom  he  calls  incendiaries  and  assassins.  Gari- 
baldi was  less  attached  to  the  Republic,  and  more  inclined 
towards  Socialism,  without  connecting  himself  with  any 
particular  system.  He  regretted  the  fall  of  the  Commune. 
In  a  letter  published  by  the  Gazettina  rosa  in  1873,  he  says, 
"  The  defeat  of  the  Commune  of  Paris  is  a  misfortune  for 
humanity,  for  it  leaves  us  the  burden  of  a  standing  army, 
which  every  party  that  wishes  to  gain  the  upper  hand  will 
make  use  of  ...  I  say  it  with  pride  :  I  am  an  Internationalist, 
and  if  an  association  of  demons  were  constituted  to  fight  the 
priests  and  despotism,  I  would  enrol  myself  in  its  ranks." 
After  the  death  of  Mazzini,  Mazzinians  and  Garibaldians  united 
in  order  to  found  a  vast  association  which  was  to  embrace  all 
the  democrats  of  the  peninsula.  They  took  the  name  of  / 
franchi  cafoni.  Their  journal  was  the  Spartacus.  This  grand 
project  could  not  be  realized,  and  the  cafoni  have  almost  all 
drifted  towards  Socialism. 

It  was  Bakunin  who  brought  the  International  into  Italy. 
In  1865  he  formed  there  a  group  of  very  active  Socialists,  who 
published  the  newspaper  Liberia  e  Giustizia,  and  formed  the 
Neapolitan  section  of  the  International.  In  1867  sections 
were  established  at  Genoa  and  at  Milan.  The  "  sons  of 
labour"  at  Catania  affiliated  themselves  in  1868.  In  1869  a 
central  section  was  formed  at  Naples,  which  addressed  an 
appeal  to  the  other  sections  to  constitute  a  national  federa- 
tion;  but  the  police  interfered  with  prosecutions.  In  1870 
and  1 87 1  numerous  sections  were  established  in  the  Romagna, 
and  were  federated  under  the  name  Fascio  Operaio.  On  the 
12th  of  March,  1872,  they  held  a  congress  at  Bologna,  at  which 
thirteen  towns  were  represented.  On  the  6th  of  August  the 
delegates  of  the  Fascio  Operaio  assembled  again  at  Rimini,  in 
order  to  declare,  "in  the  face  of  the  labourers  of  the  whole 
world,"  that  the  Italian  federation  broke  away  from  the  general 
council  of  the  International.     The  Italian  Socialists  separated 


BAKUNIN  JHE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  22/ 

themselves  definitively  from  Marx,  and  pronounced  in  favour  of 
Bakunin,  who  had  been,  in  fact,  their  Messiah. 

Even  since  the  International  has  ceased  to  exist  the  name 
has  continued  to  be  given  to  all  Socialistic  associations  in  Italy, 
and,  for  that  matter,  they  call  themselves  "  Sections  of  the  Italian 
Federation  of  the  International  Association  of  Labourers." 
Their  number  has  not  ceased  to  increase,  and  they  may  be 
said  to  exist  in  all  the  towns.  Latterly,  in  order  to  escape 
the  severity  of  the  police,  they  have  taken  the  name  of  "  Circles 
for  Social  Studies."  From  time  to  time  they  issue  manifestoes, 
and  occasionally  they  assemble  in  regional  congresses.  They 
carry  on  an  active  propaganda.  Although  the  Italian  Statute- 
book  did  not  proclaim  liberty  of  association  at  the  same  time 
as  the  other  essential  liberties,  the  exercise  of  the  right  has 
become  customary,  and  is  recognized  in  practice  as  guaranteed 
by  the  constitution.  To  attack  the  associations  called  inter- 
national, jurisprudence  has  been  obliged  to  look  upon  them 
as  associations  of  malefactors  preparing  crimes  against  common 
right,  such  as  assassination  and  robbery.  It  is  on  this  ground 
that  they  have  been  dissolved  and  their  members  prosecuted. 
In  1874  proceedings  were  taken  to  arrest  all  the  provincial 
commissions,  to  dissolve  by  force  all  the  sections,  and  to 
sequester  their  registers  and  papers.  The  juries,  however, 
often  brought  in  an  acquittal.  The  prosecutions  served  only 
to  transform  the  associations  into  secret  societies — a  trans- 
formation which  greatly  augments  their  prestige,  their  influence, 
and  their  popularity,  for  they  thus  answer  much  better  to  the 
habits  of  conspiracy  engrained  in  the  people.  * 

In  a  letter  written  from  Locarno,  on  the  5th  of  April,  1S72, 
to  Francesco  Mora,  at  Madrid,  Bakunin  thus  described  the 
Socialistic  movement  in  Italy  :  "  You  are  doubtless  aware 
that  the  International  and  our  dear  Alliance  have  lately 
taken  a  great  development  in  Italy.  Hitherto  it  was  not 
revolutionary    instincts    that   were    wanting,    but    organization 

*  For  the  history  of  the  International  in  Italy,  in  addition  to  the  book 
already  cited  of  Rudolf  Meyer,  the  following  may  be  consulted  : — L Inter- 
nazionale  e  lo  Stato,  by  Eugenic  Forni  ;  Storia  deW  Internazionale,  by 
Tullio  Martello  ;  and  the  Jahrbuch  der  Soziahtissenschajt  of  Dr.  Ludwig 
Richter,  1879  and  1880. 


228  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

and  the  revolutionary  idea.  Both  are  now  estabhshed  so 
thoroughly  that,  next  to  Spain,  Italy  is  perhaps  the  most 
revolutionary  country  in  the  world.  There  is  in  Italy  what 
is  wanting  elsewhere :  a  youth,  ardent,  energetic,  without 
career,  with  no  outlet,  and  which,  in  spite  of  their  bourgeois 
origin,  are  not  morally  and  intellectually  worn  out  as  in  other 
countries.  To-day  they  throw  themselves  headlong  into  revo- 
lutionary Socialism  with  our  whole  programme,  the  programme 
of  the  Alliance.  Mazzini,  our  '  genial '  and  powerful  antagonist, 
is  dead,  and  the  Mazzinian  party  completely  disorganized ; 
while  Garibaldi  allows  himself  more  and  more  to  be  drawn 
along  by  this  youth  of  Italy,  who  bear  his  name  indeed,  but  who 
go  ahead  infinitely  faster  and  further  than  he." 

As  Bakunin  says,  the  elements  of  revolution  exist  in  Italy ; 
but  what  renders  a  revolution  almost  impossible  there  is  the 
want  of  a  revolutionary  capital.  The  Americans  were  well 
advised  to  place  the  head-quarters  of  their  States  in  small 
towns.  The  French  Republicans,  with  less  foresight,  have 
made  a  great  mistake  in  bringing  back  the  Chambers  to  Paris. 
The  malaria,  which  renders  Rome  uninhabitable  during  part 
of  the  year,  will  preserve  it  for  some  time  longer  from  the 
danger  of  becoming  the  seat  of  a  new  Commune. 

Socialist  newspapers  have  swarmed  in  Italy,  thanks  to  the 
complete  liberty  of  the  press.  But  they  are  short-lived,  for 
want  of  subscribers :  they  die  as  soon  as  they  have  devoured 
the  small  funds  provided  by  some  enthusiastic  group.  La 
Plebe  of  Milan  is,  however,  an  exception ;  it  has  been  in 
existence  for  fifteen  years.  Signor  Cusumano,  a  young  and 
learned  professor  of  the  University  of  Palermo,  has  made  a 
list  of  the  "  red  "  journals  which  have  come  and  gone.  The 
total  exceeds  eighty.* 

I  borrow  from  Rudolf  Meyer  some  extracts  from  news- 
papers which  show  the  tendencies  of  extreme  Socialism.     In 

*  Some  of  the  names  of  these  papers  are  characteristic :  for  instance, 
//  Commit7iardo,  of  Fano  ;  Satano,  VAteo  and  II  Ladro  (the  Robber),  of 
Livorno  ;  La  Canaglia,  of  Pavia  ;  II  Lticifero,  of  Ancona;  Spartaco  and 
La  Campana,  of  Naples  ;  V Egnaglianza  and  La  Giustizia,  of  Girgenti ; 
//  Petrolio,  of  Ferrara  ;  //  Povero,  of  Palermo ;  VAnticristo,  of  Milan  ;  and 
//  Proletario,  of  Turin. 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  229 

the  first  place,  war  to  the  whole  religious  idea :  "  God,"  says 
the  Proletario,  "is  the  people's  greatest  enemy;  for  He  has 
cursed  labour."  "  No  more  faith  nor  obedience  to  the  super- 
natural," says  the  Almanaco  Republicano  ;  "it  is  only  on  this 
condition  that  materialistic  democracy  will  be  able  to  construct 
a  new  society."  "One's  country,"  says  the  Campana,  "is  an 
empty  abstraction,  in  the  name  of  which  kings  instigate 
peoples  to  cut  each  other's  throats."  Speaking  of  the  cosmo- 
politan idea,  the  Fiebe  is  indignant  at  the  Italia  irredenta 
movement :  "  What !  "  it  says,  "  you  want  to  go  to  war  with 
Austria  to  take  from  her  a  part  of  Tyrol  and  Trieste  ?  nay, 
look  at  our  terra  redenta,  our  freed  territory :  people  die  on 
it  of  pellagra  and  hunger."  No  more  government,  no  more 
authority,  nothing  but  anarchy  ;  such  is  the  final  aim.  "  The 
new  era,"  says  the  Campana,  "will  establish  the  free  expansion 
of  all  human  aspirations.  All  authority,  human  or  Divine,  must 
disappear,  from  God  down  to  the  meanest  agent  of  police." 

The  following  are  extracts  from  socialistic  manifestoes.  In 
that  of  the  Internationalists  of  La  Puglia,  dated  August,  1878, 
we  read:  "The  end  to  be  attained  is  to  assure  to  men  thai 
most  complete  happiness  possible,  by  the  full  development  oif 
all  tEeif  faculties.  The  woman  ought  to  be  the  companion  of 
the  man,  not  a  slave  or  an  instrument  of  pleasure.  Love) 
ou^ht  to  be  free  and  relieved  from  all  codes  and  rituals.  Every 
one  ought  to  receive  a  complete  education,  so  as  to  enable 
him  to  select  the  function  for  which  he  is  suited.  The  free 
federation  of  individuals,  of  groups,  of  associations,  and  of 
communes,  forms  the  confederacy  of  the  human  race.  The 
revolution  is  not  a  conspiracy  which  seeks  to  change  the  face 
of  society  in  a  day,  but  a  permanent  struggle,  material,  moral, 
and  intellectual,  against  the  existing  organization,  in  order  to 
put  in  its  place  free  association."  On  the  6th  of  May,  1877, 
the  lady  Internationalists  of  the  female  sections  of  the  Romagna 
and  of  Naples  addressed  a  manifesto  to  all  the  working  women 
of  the  peninsula :  "  Our  wages,"  they  said,  "  being  insufificient, 
we  have  to  depend  on  men  for  subsistence.  The  emancipation 
of  women  is  at  bottom  the  emancipation  of  working  men ;  both 
are  the  victims  of  capital.     ^Existing  society  says  to  us,  '  Sell 


230  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

yourselves  or  die  of  starvation.'  The  society  of  the  future  will 
say  to  us,  *  Live,  work,  love.'  "  The  Circle  for  Social  Studies 
of  Rome  published  its  programme  (July,  1878),  containing  the 
following  principles — (i)  Abolition  of  all  privilege  j  (2)  Pro- 
ductive labour  the  only  legitimate  source  of  wealth ;  (3)  The 
instruments  of  production  to  be  the  property  of  the  labourer ; 
(4)  Emancipation  and  "  reintegration  of  the  individual  and 
collective  man."  In  June,  1878,  the  Internationalist  federation 
of  Rimini  sent  forth  a  manifesto,  saying,  "  No  more  privileged 
property,  but  collectivism,  that  is  to  say,  possession  in  common 
of  land  and  of  all  instruments  of  production  ;  bread,  wealth, 
education,  justice,  liberty  for  all.  The  land  to  him  who  tills 
it,  the  machine  to  him  who  uses  it,  and  the  house  to  him  who 
inhabits  it."  Confused  amalgam  of  communism  and  individual- 
ism. In  a  manifesto  of  the  Internationalists  of  Montenero, 
Antignani,  Ardenza,  and  San-Jacobo,  the  theory  of  anarchism 
is  clearly  formulated.  "  The  State  is  the  negation  of  liberty  ; 
for,  no  matter  who  commands,  all  serve.  Authority  creates 
nothing  and  corrupts  everything.  Every  State,  however 
democratic,  is  an  instrument  of  despotism.  The  best  govern- 
i;  ment  is  one  which  succeeds  in  rendering  itself  useless.  Merely 
'1  to  change  the  political  regime  is  of  no  use.  A  man  has  a  thorn 
in  his  foot ;  he  thinks  to  ease  himself  by  changing  his  boots, 
but  he  suffers  all  the  more.  It  is  the  thorn  he  must  get  rid  of 
The  free  man  in  the  free  commune ;  and  throughout  humanity 
nothing  but  federated  communes — that  is  the  future." 

Among  Italian  Socialists,  as  everywhere  in  Europe  to-day, 
there  are  two  parties  :  that  of  the  "Authoritarian  Collectivists," 
who  call  for  State  Intervention  ;  and  that  of  the  "  Revolutionary 
Anarchists,"  who  desire  the  destruction  of  the  State  and  the 
abolition  of  all  authority.  I  borrow  from  M.  B.  Malon's 
"  History  of  Socialism  "  two  extracts  which  sufficiently  describe 
these  two  varieties.  The  following  are,  in  the  first  place,  the 
principles  of  the  Collectivists,  originally  pubhshed  in  the 
Fovero,  and  afterwards  adopted  by  the  Flebe  of  Milan  (1877). 

( 1 )  Collective  ownership  of  land  and  of  the  means  of  production  ; 

(2)  Substitution   of   a    free   and   equal   family  for    the   moral    and 

oppressive   family  in  which  the  wife  and  children    are   the 
slaves  of  the  husband  and  father ; 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  23 1 

(3)  Substitution,  for  the  existing  State,  of  a  social  organism  based  on 

the  most  absolute  autonomy  of  groups  and  of  federal  com- 
munes, with  a  view  to  the  organization  of  the  public  services, 
the  thorough  cultivation  of  the  land,  the  beautifying  of  the 
globe,  and  the  happiness  of  all ; 

(4)  Civil,  political,  and  economical  equality  of  all  human  beings,  with- 

out distinction  of  sex,  colour,  race,  or  nationality  ; 

(5)  Guarantee  of  individual  independence  by  enabling  each  producer 

to  possess  the  surplus  value  obtained  by  his  labour  on  the 
raw  material  worked  up  by  him  ; 

(6)  The  assurance  that  each  member  of  society  shall  receive,  at  the 

collective  cost,  both  a  general  and  a  professional  education 
on  a  level  with  the  sum  of  the  knowledge  of  his  times. 

In  the  programme  of  the  "  Federation  of  the  Marches  and 
of  Umbria"  may  be  found  an  indication  of  the  object  aimed  at 
by  the  Anarchists  : — 

"  Seeing  that  the  emancipation  of  the  labourer  ought  to  be 
the  work  of  the  labourer  himself :  that,  inasmuch  as  he  does 
not  wish  to  be  led  by  any  superior  authority,  the  labourer  is 
essentially  anti-authoritarian  and  anarchic  ;  that  the  emanci- 
pation of  the  labourer  has  for  aim  equality  of  rights  and  duties 
and  the  abolition  of  classes;  that  this  emancipation  is  impos- 
sible with  the  existing  organization  of  the  State  and  of  property ; 
that  the  destruction  of  the  State,  in  all  its  forms,  is  the  grand 
aim  of  the  social  revolution,  which  strives  to  transform  society 
on  the  basis  of  anarchy  and  collectivism  .  .  .  " — Except 
for  the  idea  of  pan-destruction  the  rest  is  very  vague.  An 
anarchist,  Costa,  explains  the  matter  in  a  letter  to  the  Egaliic 
of  Paris  (1878)  :  "As  to  doctrines,  we  may  say  that  we  have 
few  of  them.  We  are  anarchists,  that  is  all.  We  wish  that 
every  one  should  have  the  opportunity  of  making  known  his 
wants  aiid  the  means  of  satisfying  them  ;  in  a  word,  that  every 
one  shoidd  be  able  to  do  as  he  likes^  Nothing,  in  truth,  is  more 
desirable  than  this  universal  liberty;  but  how  to  realize  it? 
Destroy  everything — that  is  the  sole  practical  plan  suggested. 

These  extracts  suffice  to  show  that  the  programme  of 
militant  Socialism  in  Italy  is,  at  bottom,  no  other  than  that 
of  Bakunin.     The  same  is  the  case  in  Spain. 

The  history  of  the  International  in  Spain  is  as  tragic  as  it 
is  instructive.     Although  there  are  few  working  men  engaged 


^^AWUiaeyifvX^i^S^  ^X:if 


232  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

in  large  factories,  the  Alliance  made  rapid  conquests  there. 
At  one  time,  as  the  result  of  successful  insurrections,  it  had 
several  large  towns  in  its  hands,  but  it  soon  succumbed  in  the 
midst  of  the  disorder  and  anarchy  it  had  created.  Up  to 
about  1867,  the  labour  movement,  directed  by  the  newspaper 
the  Obrero,  was  in  no  way  revolutionary;  it  aimed  at  the 
establishment  of  societies  for  mutual  aid,  for  savings,  and  for 
production.  After  the  overthrow  of  the  throne  of  Isabella  the 
International  sent  delegates  to  Spain,  who  were  well  received. 
On  the  2ist  of  October,  1868,  the  general  council  addressed 
a  manifesto  to  the  Spanish  working  men,  urging  them  to 
demand  social  reforms.  "  Without  economic  equality,"  it  said, 
"the  political  liberty  offered  you  is  a  snare.  Without  the 
overthrow  of  existing  civil  institutions,  even  the  republic  will 
profit  you  nothing.  What  you  must  aim  at  is  the  social 
revolution."  At  the  congress  of  the  International,  which  met 
at  Brussels,  a  Spanish  delegate,  Sarro  Magallan,  of  Barcelona, 
was  present.  On  the  2nd  of  March,  1867,  in  this  great  indus- 
trial town,  the  first  section  was  founded,  and  a  newspaper,  the 
Fede?-adoTi,  published.  Soon  a  central  section  was  established 
at  Madrid.  The  principal  leaders  were  Morago  and  Francesco 
Mora,  who  also  edited  a  newspaper.  La  Solidaridad.  The 
police  commenced  prosecutions  ;  but  nevertheless,  the  number 
of  the  sections  rapidly  increased,  and  at  the  close  of  1869 
there  were  195  of  them,  with  more  than  twenty  thousand 
members.*  Curiously  enough,  a  very  active  section  was 
established  at  Palma,  in  the  island  of  Majorca,  with  its  organ, 
La  'yusticia  Sociale.  The  agricultural  labourers  took  part  in 
the  movement,  and  formed  groups,  especially  in  Andalusia, 
where  the  latificndia  exclude  the  cultivators  from  the  posses- 
sion of  the  land,  and  reduce  them  to  an  insufficient  wage. 

In  February,  1872,  the  minister  Sagasta,  frightened  at  Jlie 

*  Visiting  Spain  in  1S69,  I  was  present  at  several  sittings  of  these 
Socialistic  clubs.  They  were  usually  held  in  churches  erected  for  religious 
worship.  From  the  pulpit,  the  orators  attacked  all  that  had  been  previously 
venerated  there :  God,  religion,  the  priests,  the  rich.  The  speeches  were  at 
white  heat,  but  the  listeners  remained  calm.  Many  women  were  seated  on 
the  floor,  working,  suckling  their  babes,  and  listening  attentively,  as  to  a 
sermon.     It  was  the  very  picture  of  '93. 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  233 

rapid  j^rogress  of  the  association,  sent  a  circular  to  the  pro- 
vincial governors,  directing  them  to  extirpate  it  at  ail  costs, 
and  He  even  ina'de  proposals  to  Tofetgn  governments  with  a 
view~fo' organizing  a  European  crusade.  The  leaders  of  the 
International  were  obliged  to  seek  refuge  in  Portugal  At  the 
same  time  the  split  took  place  in  the  Socialist  camp.  The 
adherents  of  Bakunin's  Alliance  wished  to  obtain  the  direction 
of  the  movement.  They  established  a  newspaper  at  Madrid, 
El  Condenado,  the  programme  of  which  was  summed  up  in 
these  three  words  :  Atheism,  Anarchy,  Collectivism. 

After  tlie  schism  of  the  Hague,  between  Marx  and  Bakunin, 
the  great  majority  of  the  Spanish  Internationalists  declared  for 
the  latter.  A  regional  congress  was  convened  at  Cordova,  in 
DecemGer,  1872.  It  resulted  in  the  formation  of  an  inde- 
pendent federation,  which  issued  a  manifesto  addressed  to 
"  its  brothers  throughout  the  whole  world,"  invoking  their  aid. 
It  concluded  with  these  words: — "The  Social  Liquidation 
for  ever  !  Long  live  the  International !  All  Hail  Solidarity, 
Anarchy,  and  Collectivism ! "  The  partisans  of  Marx,  his 
son-in-law  Lafargue,  and  Farga,  founded  the  "  New  Federa- 
tion of  Madrid,"  to  which  they  endeavoured  to  rally  thei'- 
troops,  who  had  been  thrown  into  confusion  by  the  anathemas 
and  accusations  of  the  two  contesting  parties.  The  Marxists 
wished,  however,  to  remain  on  economic  ground,  while  the 
Bakunists  joined  the  bourgeois  radicals  for  the  purpose  of  over- 
throwing King  Amadeo  and  establishing  a  republic.  At  the 
time  of  the  repression  of  the  insurrection  of  1872,  at  Madrid, 
the  Emancipacio7i,  the  organ  of  the  Marxists,  thus  expressed 
its  opinion:  "We  know  enough  of  the  personnel  of  the  re- 
publican party  to  assert  that  this  movement  is  only  one  of 
a  series  of  revolutionary  attempts  by  which  the  rank  and  file 
of  the  bourgeoisie  are  seeking  to  look  after  their  own  interests, 
and  which  cost  the  workers  so  much  bloodshed,  without 
enabling  them  to  gain  any  benefit.  We  can  only  repeat  to  our . 
friends  :  The  emancipation  of  the  labourers  must  be  the  work  1 
of  "the^  labourers  themselves.  Every  revolution  conducted  by  | 
the  bourgeoisie  can  be  useful  only  to  the  bourgeoisie.'''  These 
wordslvere  not  heeded.    After  the  abdication  of  King  Amadeo, 


234  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

which  took  place  on  the  loth  of  February,  1873,  the  Anarchist 
party  induced  the  labourers  to  enter  into  an  aUiance  with  the 
Radicals,  in  order  to  prepare  for  a  new  revolution. 

The  report  of  the  Spanish  delegate,  Garcia  Vinas,  to  the 
Congress  of  Geneva,  in  September,  1873,  informs  us  of  the 
strength  of  the  International  at  that  time.  It  counted  270 
regional  federations,  comprising  557  trade-sections  and  117 
sections  of  independent  working  men,  making  a  total  of  674 
sections  with  about  300,000  associates.  There  were  several 
Socialist  journals,  all  of  which  advocated  Bakunin's  programme, 
Anarchy  or  Communalism,  that  is  to  say,  the  absolute  inde- 

:  pendence  of  each  commune.  Their  attacks  on  religion  were 
of  extraordinary  violence.*  Most  of  them  spoke  of  rekindling 
the  flames  of  Paris,  as  may  be  seen  in  the  following  peroration 
taken  from  an  article  in  the  Petroleo  ; — "  And  if  force  prevents 

:  us  from  attaining  our  object,  which  is  to  sit  in  our  turn  at  the 
banquet  of  life,  then  the  avenger,  dreaded  by  the  privileged 
classes.  Petroleum,  will  come  to  our  aid,  not  merely  to  accom- 
plish the  work  of  destruction,  but  at  the  same  time  to  perform 
an  act  of  holy  and  supreme  justice.  A  levelling  even  with  the 
ground,  if  need  be  by  means  of  axe  and  fire,  this  is  what  the 
dignity  of  the  proletariat,  for  so  long  trampled  under  foot, 
imperatively  demands." 

In  Andalusia,  in  the  Estremadura,  and  in  the  province  of 
Badajoz  the  peasants  made  a  partition  of  the  lands.  Canton- 
aUst  insurrections  broke  out.  It  was  a  counterfeit  Commune  of 
Paris.  On  the  13th  of  February,  1873,  thirty  thousand  working 
men  assembled  at  Barcelona,  proclaimed  the  Federal  Republic, 
and  fixed,  by  authority,  the  duration  of  labour  and  the  rate  of 
wages.     On  the  8th  of  March  there  was  a  rising  at  Malaga,  the 

*  The  following  is  an  extract  from  the  journal,  Los  Deca??iisados : — 

^  "  Deliver  us  at  last  from  that  phantom  called  God,  who  is  good  only  for 

"\   frightening  little  children.     Religions  are  only  trades  intended   to  en'alole 

those  mountebanks  of  priests,  as   Dupuis  calls  them,  to  grow  fat  at   the 

;!    people's  expense.     That  is  our  programme.     Moreover,  before  putting  it 

i     into  execution,  there  will  be  needed  a  good  blood-letting,  brief  but  copious. 

The  rotten  boughs  must  be  lopped  off  the  social  tree  in  order  that  it  may 

develop.     Tremble,  ye  bourgeois  who  have  fattened  on  our  toil !     Give 

place  to  the  shirtless,  the  decaniisados.    Your  tyranny  is  nearly  done.     Our 

black  flag  is  unfurled,  and  it  will  lead  us  to  victory." 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  235 

garrison  allowed  itself  to  be  disarmed,  and  the  barracks  were 
set  on  fire.  Meanwhile  newly  installed  republicans  governed 
the  Spanish  Republic.  Castelar,  Sunar,  Pi  y  Margall,  and 
Salmeron  were  in  power,  but  they  were  denounced  as  traitors. 
On  the  7  th  of  July  there  was  a  general  strike  in  the  industrial 
town  of  Alcoy.  They  came  to  blows.  The  Alcade  and  some 
gendarmes  defended  themselves  for  some  days  in  the  buildings 
of  the  municipality.  The  insurgents  took  as  hostages  some 
priests  and  some  manufacturers.  The  Alcade  and  the  gen- 
darmes were  made  prisoners  and  then  put  to  death  by  the 
crowd,  and  six  public  edifices  were  burnt  to  the  ground. 

On  the  12th  of  July  the  great  insurrection  of  Carthagena 
broke  out.  The  sailors  and  marines  fraternized  wnth  the 
Socialists,  and  the  ironclads  fell  into  their  hands.  General 
Contreras  put  himself  at  their  head  and  bombarded  the  town 
of  Almeria.  He  would  probably  have  got  possession  of  the 
other  seaports,  had  it  not  been  for  the  intervention  of  the 
foreign  fleets.  By  the  20th  of  July,  the  Cantonalists,  with  whom 
the  gendarmerie  and  the  troops  had  fraternized,  were  masters 
of  the  province  of  Castellon.  A  committee  of  public  safety 
ruled  at  Seville.  The  duration  of  the  working  day  was  limited 
to  eight  hours.  The  relations  between  masters  and  workmen 
were"toT5e  regulated  on  the  principle  of  "absolute  liberty."^ 
In  order  to  prepare  for  the  "  social  Hquidation,"  all  rents  were 
reduced  by  one-half,  the  property  of  the  churches  was  confis- 
cated, and  all  pensions  were  abolished.  All  closed  factories 
and  workshops,  as  well  as  all  uncultivated  lands,  were  assigned 
to'ffibse  who  could  turn  them  to  account.  At  Granada  the 
Cantonahsts  resolved  that  the  churches  should  be  sold,  that 
the  bells  should  be  melted  and  the  metal  made  into  coins,  and 
that  an  overwhelming  tax  should  be  levied  on  the  rich.  At 
Carmona  there  was  a  battle  in  the  streets  which  lasted  the 
entire  day.  Cadiz,  Murcia,  San  Fernando,  Valencia,  and 
Salamanca  also  joined  the  Cantonalist  movement.  It  seemed 
on  the  point  of  being  everywhere  triumphant;  but  these 
revolutionists,  who  proclaimed  anarchy,  through  anarchy  were 
destined  to  fall.  Amid  the  general  disorganization,  the  orders 
of  the  "leaders  were  not  obeyed.     The  insurgents  had  no  real 


236  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

force  at  their  command.  General  Pavia  had  only  to  collect 
some  faithful  troops  and  lead  them  to  the  attack  from  the 
outside  provinces,  in  order  to  gain  the  submission,  in  a  very 
short  time,  of  all  the  insurgent  cities.  At  Seville  the  Anarchists 
defended  themselves  with  great  determination,  and  in  order  to 
imitate  in  everything  their  brothers  of  Paris,  they  "fired,"  by 
means  of  petroleum,  the  buildings  which  they  had  to  abandon. 
To  regain  Carthagena,  a  very  strong  place,  the  naval  arsenal  of 
which  supplied  formidable  means  of  defence,  a  regular  siege, 
which  lasted  up  to  January,  1874,  was  found  necessary.  The 
last  episode  of  the  drama,  during  the  same  month,  was  a  bloody 
conflict  in  the  streets  of  Barcelona,  in  which  the  Cantonalists 
fought  with  the  energy  of  despair. 

The  movement  closed,  as  usual,  with  an  "  i8th  Brumaire." 
General  Pavia,  after  subduing  the  Cantonalists,  acted  in  concert 
with  General  Serrano.  He  sent  a  note  to  Salmeron,  President 
of  the  Cortes,  begging  him  to  dissolve  the  assembly.  The 
deputies  appointed  Castelar  dictator  amid  transports  of  inde- 
scribable enthusiasm,  and  swore  to  die  in  their  seats.  A  com- 
pany of  fusiliers  entered  the  hall ;  shots  were  fired,  and  the 
confusion  reached  its  height.  Half  an  hour  afterwards,  all  was 
over :  Serrano  was  dictator,  and  soon  King  Alphonso  mounted 
the  throne  of  his  ancestors.  This  episode  is  instructive.  It 
shows  once  more  how  anarchy  leads  to  a  coup  d'etat. 

Suppressed  for  some  years  in  consequence  of  the  bloody 
executions  of  1873,  Socialistic  propaganda  before  long  recom- 
menced their  subterraneous  work,  and  above  all  made  many 
recruits  in  the  rural  parts  of  Andalusia,  where  there  are  the  same 
agrarian  grievances  as  in  Ireland.  The  recent  discovery  in 
February,  1883,  of  the  Secret  Society,  La  Matio  Neva  ("The 
Black  Hand  "),  disclosed  the  aim  pursued  by  the  anarchists. 
Their  principles  are  those  of  the  International,  but  their  means 
of  action  are  evidently  borrowed  from  Russian  Nihilism.  The 
number  of  members  appears  to  be  very  considerable  in  all  the 
towns  of  Southern  Spain.  It  will  be  useful  to  sum  up  here  the 
details  given  by  the  Spanish  journals.  The  principal  centres 
of  agitation  are  Xeres,  Grazelema,  Ubrique,  and  Arcos  de  la 
Frontera.     There  have  been  more  than  fourteen  sentences  of 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  237 

death  pronounced  by  the  Mano  Nera  and  executed  in  the  same 
way  as  the  agrarian  murders  in  Ireland.  It  is  asserted  that  in 
Andalusia  and  the  neighbouring  provinces  of  Estremadura, 
Jaen,  and  Murcia,  without  counting  the  rest  of  Spain,  there  are 
130  federations  with  340  sections  and  42,000  members  in  the 
rural  parts. 

The  organizers  of  the  Black  Hand  declare  in  their  statutes 
that  the  society  has  for  its  aim  the  defence  of  the  poor  and 
oppressed  against  their  robbers  and  executioners  who  exploit 
them  and  tyrannize  over  them.  "  The  land,"  they  add,  "  exists 
for  the  common  welfare  of  mankind,  all  of  whom  have  an  equal 
right  to  possess  it.  It  was  created  by  the  productive  activity 
of  the  labourers.  The  existing  social  organization  is  absurd 
and  criminal :  it  is  the  workers  who  produce  everything  and 
the  rich  idlers  hold  them  in  their  clutches.  It  js  impossible, 
therefore,  to  feel  too  profound  a  hatred  against  all  political 
parties,  for  they  are  all  equally  contemptible.  All  property 
acquired  by  the  labour  of  another  is  illegitimate,  whether  it 
proceeds  from  rent  or  interest,  and  none  is  legitimate  except 
that  which  results  from  direct  personal  labour  usefully  employed. 
Consequently,  the  Society  declares  the  rich  outside  the  law  of 
nations,  and  proclaims  that  in  order  to  fight  them  as  they 
deserve  all  means  are  good  and  necessary,  not  excepting  sword 
or  fire  or  even  slander."  * 

The  association  affirms  that  it  acts  in  concert  with  all 
those  of  similar  character  established  in  other  countries.  The 
organic  statutes  are  short  and  categorical.     The  general  sanc- 

*  In  the  fourteenth  century  SociaHsm  in  England  expressed  similar  ideas, 
with  the  exception  of  the  appeal  to  force.  The  following  are  the  words 
that  Froissart  puts  in  the  mouth  of  John  Bull,  "the  mad  priest  of  Kent," 
speaking  in  the  name  of  the  peasants: — "Good  people,  things  will  never 
go  well  in  England  so  long  as  goods  be  not  in  common,  and  so  long  as 
there  be  villains  and  gentlemen.  By  what  right  are  they  whom  we  call 
lords  greater  folk  than  we  ?  Why  do  they  hold  us  in  serfage  ?  If.  we  all 
came  of  the  same  father  and  mother,  of  Adam  and  Eve,  how  can  they  say 
or  prove  that  they  are  better  than  we,  if  it  be  not  that  they  make  us  gain  by 
our  toil  what  they  spend  in  their  pride  ?  They  are  clothed  in  velvet  and 
warm  in  their  furs  and  ermines,  while  we  are  covered  with  rags.  They 
have  wines  and  spices  and  fair  bread,  while  we  have  rye,  thin  oats,  and  straw, 
and  water  to  drink.  They  have  leisure  and  fine  houses  ;  and  we  have  pain 
and  labour,  the  rain  and  the  wind  in  the  fields.  And  yet  it  is  of  us  and  our 
toil  that  these  men  hold  their  state." 


238  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tion  of  the  decisions  of  the  association  is  the  penalty  of  death. 
The  association  is  essentially  secret.  Whoever  reveals,  throuo-h 
imprudence  or  bad  faith,  any  of  its  acts  within  his  knowledge, 
is  held  in  suspicion  for  an  unlimited  period  or  put  to  death, 
according  to  the  gravity  of  the  matter  revealed.  Every  order 
given  to  a  member  must  be  performed,  and  whoever  avoids 
any  work  entrusted  to  him  is  looked  upon  as  a  traitor.  Every 
member  must  regulate  his  public  conduct  so  as  to  conceal  his 
relations  to  the  association  and  his  sympathies  with  it.  Every 
member  must  undergo  a  noviciate,  he  must  furnish  positive 
proofs  of  his  sincerity,  and  it  is  only  after  trial  that  he  is 
allowed  to  present  himself  before  the  initiated  of  the  group  of 
which  he  is  to  form  a  member.  All  these  precautions  are 
taken  to  avoid  treachery.  After  hearing  the  new  member,  the 
vote  is  taken.  No  one  is  admitted  a  member  except  on  a 
unanimous  vote. 

The  statutes  of  the  "popular"  or  secret  tribunal  resemble 
those  of  NihiHsm.  They  commence  with  the  followino- 
preamble  : — 

"Whereas   bourgeois  governments,   by  putting  the   Inter- 
national beyond  the  pale  of  the  law,  have  prevented  the  peace- 
able solution  of  the  Social  question,  it  is  advisable  to  establish 
a  secret  revolutionary  organization.     Victory  is  still  far  distant. 
The   bourgeois  continue  to  commit  their  crimes;  they  must 
therefore  be  punished  ;  and  as  the  confederates  are  determined 
to  carry  out  this  purpose,  they  have  commissioned  a  popular 
tribunal  to  condemn  and  chastise  the  crimes  of  the  bourgeoisie. 
The    members    of  the   revolutionary  tribunal  must  belong  to 
the  International,  and  must  be  capable  of  carrying  out  the  duty 
that   they  accept.      The  bourgeois   shall  be  punished  by  all 
possible  methods,  by  fire,  sword,  poison,  or  in  any  other  way." 
The  ordinary  meetings  of  the  tribunal  take  place  on  the 
first  of  each  month.      Their  object  is  to  receive  reports  of  the 
reprisals  made  by  the  several  members  against  the  bourgeoisie, 
and  of  the  advantages  offered  by  the  several  modes  of  execution 
adopted;  to  examine  what  reforms  might  be  usefully  introduced 
into  the  association,  and  to  give  instructions  to  the  members. 
Every  member  of  a  group  is  bound  to  submit  to  it,  without  delay. 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  239 

his  ideas  and  views  on  the  best  methods  of  incendiarism,  assas- 
sination, poisoning,  and  in  general  on  every  means  of  injuring  the 
bourgeois.     Every  member  pays  a  subscription  of  five  centimes 
a  week  for  the  costs  of  correspondence.     Heavy  disbursements 
are   recovered   by   means   of  an  assessment,  and  in  the  case 
of  extraordinary  expenses  recourse  is  had  to  the   federation 
Punishment  must  only  be  inflicted  at  the  propitious  moment, 
and   the   member   must   know   how  to   profit   by   favourable 
opportunities.     Reprisals  ought  to  be  directed  against  property 
whenever  it  is  impossible  to  reach  persons.     No  one  is  bound 
to  act  in  case  of  physical  impossibility  or  personal  incapacity  ; 
but  whoever  accepts  a  particular  duty  must  accomplish  it  under 
penalty  of  death.     Whoever  permanently  abstains  from  acting 
is  declared  to  be  "  fallen,"  and  is  expelled  from  the  Society. 
He  is  placed  under  the  strict  supervision  of  the  tribunal,  and 
on  the  first  sign  of  treachery  incurs  the  penalty  of  death.     No 
consideration  of  friendship  or  relationship  can  stay  the  putting 
to  death  of  a  traitor.     The  life  of  a  brother  or  a  father,  if  it 
puts  a  considerable  number  of  persons  in  danger,  must  on  no 
account  be  respected.     Whenever  the  group  of  one  locality 
cannot  execute  the  sentence  of  death  pronounced  against  a 
traitor,  the  members  of  other  localities  are  charged  with  its 
execution.     They  surprise  their  victim  and  kill  him  without 
pity. 

The  International  penetrated  into  Portugal  about  1872,  and 
since  then  it  has  counted  there  a  considerable  number  of 
sections  and  several  organs,  among  others  the  Jornal  do  tra- 
balho,  the  Tribuna  and  O  Rebate  at  Lisbon,  the  Clamor  do  povo 
and  O  Protesto  at  Oporto.  Dr.  Anthelo  de  Quental,  revolutionary 
Socialist  candidate  of  Circle  93,  has  recently  (1880)  published 
a  manifesto  adopting  collectivism.  The  Portuguese  Social- 
ists assemble  in  congress  every  year.  Their  programme  is 
"  anarchism  "  of  a  mild  kind,  without  any  threats  of  expropria- 
tion, massacre,  or  petroleum.  Several  causes  explain  this  less 
aggressive  attitude.  The  Portuguese  are  less  violent  than  the 
Spaniards,  the  economic  situation  of  their  country  is  better, 
and,  finally,  a  very  large  measure  of  liberty  has  prevented 
the  explosion  of  rage  elsewhere  exasperated  by  repression. 


240  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  absolute  impotence  and  sterility  of  the  Communes  at 
Paris  and  in  Spain  clearly  prove  that  Socialism,  though  it  may 
snatch  a  victory  by  surprise,  is  unable  to  draw  profit  from  its 
momentary  triumph.  A  political  revolution  is  often  an  easy 
matter ;  social  evolution  is  inevitable ;  but  a  Socialistic  revolu- 
tion is  impossible,  for  the  simple  reason  that  the  economic  face 
of  society  cannot  be  changed  in  a  day,  or  by  force.  Neverthe- 
less, many  governments  certainly  act  exactly  as  if  they  \vished«):o 
provoke  a  terrible  overthrow.  In  fact,  on  the  one  hand,  ever- 
growing military  systems  and  more  and  more  crushing  taxes  are 
reducing  the  people  to  ruin  and  driving  them  to  despair  ;  while, 
on  the  other  hand,  every  manifestation  of  their  sufferings.  J.nd 
all  their  wishes  for  reform  are  mercilessly  suppressed. 

Socialism,  even  in  a  militant  form,  exists  to-day,  as  we  have 
seen,  everywhere  ;  but  while  in  free  countries,  such  as  England, 
Switzerland,  or  Belgium,  it  organizes  congresses  and  banquets, 
where  it  speechifies,  sings,  drinks,  and  smokes,  in  States  where 
it  is  persecuted  to  the  death,  as  in  Russia,  it  has  recourse  to  the 
dagger,  to  incendiarism,  to  poison,  and  to  dynamite.  A  govern- 
ment which  refuses  to  grant  liberty  has  against  it  all  those  who 
claim  liberty,  from  the  best  citizens  to  the  worst  scoundrels. 
Let  it  grant  liberty,  and  its  only  enemies  will  be  those,  who 
deserve  the  hulks,  that  is  to  say,  happily  still,  a  very  insignifi- 
cant number. 

Intelligent  revolutionists  see  clearly  that  coercion  gives  them 
weapons.  On  this  subject.  Citizen  Brousse,  author  of  the  article 
in  the  Avant-garde,  which  was  condemned  at  Geneva  in  1878, 
says  as  follows  : — "  Our  aim  being  the  destruction  of  the  State, 
we  ought  not  to  wish  for  the  Republic  which  would  give  to  the 
State  a  solid  foundation,  such  as  it  has  in  Switzerland  and  in 
the  United  States.  The  form  of  government  most  advantageous 
to  us  is  that  which  we  can  most  easily  destroy,  that  is,  the 
restoration  of  the  legitimist  monarchy.  .  .  .  Relying  on  the 
results  of  Sociological  science,  we  maintain  that  the  Conservative 
Republic,  which  is  about  to  be  established  in  France  on  the 
ruins  of  radicalism,  being  the  final  advance  which  the  State  can 
make,  will  cement,  to  the  great  detriment  of  the  proletariat  of 
Europe  an  indissoluble  alliance  between  all  the  elements  of  the 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NUHLISM.  24 1 

bourgeoisie.  The  return  to  the  regime  of  a  bygone  age  would, 
on  the  contrary,  perpetuate  the  divisions  of  the  bourgeoisie  and 
their  intestine  struggles,  thus  reopening  to  our  profit  the  era  of 
revolutions."  *  Nothing  could  be  more  true.  Socialism,  when 
isolated,  is  not  to  be  dreaded  ;  but  in  the  event  of  a  political 
revolution  or  a  great  reverse  in  a  foreign  war,  the  anarchists  will 
be  ready  once  more  to  profit  by  the  collapse  of  power. 

If  the  sovereigns  of  Europe  wish  to  disarm  Socialism,  they 
will  not  succeed  in  doing  so  by  exceptional  laws,  as  in  Germany, 
nor  by  casemates  and  Siberia,  as  in  Russia.  Let  them  put  an 
end  to  this  detestable  antagonism  of  State  against  State,  which 
is  the  curse  of  our  times;  let  them  reduce  their  armies  and 
diminish  their  taxes,  and  then  they  may  fearlessly  give  complete 
libe~rlyTo_a  happier  people.  The  vision  of  Utopia  will  riot  dis- 
. appear,  for  it  is  older  than  Plato,  and  Society  will  continue  to 
be  transformed  as  has  been  the  case  since  prehistoric  times  ; 
but  the  Utopia  will  no  longer  be  a  dream  of  universal  destruc- 
tion, and  the  transformations  will  take  place  peacefully. 

If,  now,  we  endeavour  to  reach  the  sources  of  Nihilistic 
Socialism,  we  shall  meet,  on  the  one  hand,lhe  levelHng  philo- 
sophers of  the  last  century — Jean  Jacques  Rousseau,  MorellX 
Mably,  Brissot,  Helvetius;  and  the  Socialists  of  the  present 
century — Owen,  St.  Simon,  Fourier,  Proudhon,  Louis  Blanc;    |i 
and,   on  the  other  hand,   the    German   philosophers,    Hegel,  W, 
Feuerbach,  and   Schopenhauer.     Marx  and  Lassalle,  Herzen  jH 
and  Bakunin,  were  at  the  outset  enthusiastic  Hegelians.     In  a  lj[ 
very  strange  book,  which  dates  from  1845,  Der  Einzige  und  sein 
EigentJium  ("The  Individual  and  his  Property"),  written  by  Max 
Stirner,  one  inay  see  Hegelianism  ending  in '  the  deification  of 
iLgoism,  and  absolutely  denying  everything  else.     Stirner  takes 
for  his  epigraph  the  following  verse  of  one  of  Goethe's  songs  :  ';' 
Ich   habe   ineine   Sache   auf  7iichts  gestellt  ("I  rest    my  hopes,: 
on  nothing").      His  doctrine  is  summed  up   in   the  following  t:^ 
words  of  the  preface  :  "  My  affair  is  neither  the  divine  nor  the  | 
human,  neither  the  true,  nor  the  good,  nor  liberty,  etc.,  but  my 
own  :  myself  and  my  interest,  nothing  more."     In  th.  case  of 

*  L'Etat  a  Versailles  et  dans  P Association  dcs  Travail leins,  by  Brousse 
London,  1873,  without  the  name  of  the  publisher. 

R 


242  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Herzen  we  can  perceive  better  than  anywhere  else  the  nexus 
of  ideas  that  leads  to  Nihilism.  Before  1848,  after  escaping 
from  Russia,  he  was  intoxicated  with  aspirations  after  equality. 
When  the  revolution  of  February,  which  had  seemed  about  to 
realize  his  aspirations,  also  became  as  bourgeois  as  that  of  1830, 
he  raised  a  cry  of  rage  against  Society  in  a  writing  entitled 
Aprh  la  tempete.  "Perish  the  old  world!  Welcome  Chaos 
and  Destruction.     Give  place  to  the  future."  * 

In  another  publication,  also  dating  from  the  close  of  1848, 
"  The  Republic  One  and  Indivisible,"  he  shows  that  the  new 
form  of  government  is  "  the  last  dream  of  the  old  world,"  and 
that  it  will  do  nothing  towards  realizing  the  grand  principle  of 
social  justice,  namely,  that  the  labourer  ought  not  and  cannot 
work  for  another.  "  The  end  of  cannibalism  is  at  hand.  \^^hat 
delays  it  is  that  the  working  man  is  not  conscious  of  his  strength, 
and  the  peasant  is  still  more  behindhand.  But  when  peasant 
and  working  man  join  hands,  then  good-bye  to  your  luxury,  to 
your  civilization  ;  then  the  exploitation  of  the  masses  for  the 
profit  of  the  few  shall  have  seen  its  last  days.  Already  now  the 
exploitation  of  man  by  man  is  drawing  to  a  close,  for  nobody 
any  longer  believes  it  just."  He  hoped  then  that,  as  in  the 
palingenesis,  on  the  ruins  of  the  condemned  social  structure  a 
new  humanity  would  arise  free  and  happy.  "The  spring-time 
will  come.  A  fresh  young  life  will  grow  on  the  tombs  of  the 
dead  generations,  the  victims  of  iniquity.  Peoples  full  of 
energy,  incoherent  indeed,  but  healthy,  will  arise,  and  a  new 
volume  of  the  world's  history  will  be  opened."  Towards  the 
close  of  his  life,  Herzen  understood  that  it  was  not  enough  to 
destroy  institutions  or  reduce  the  monuments  of  the  past  to 
ashes,  but  that  it  was  men's  sentiments  that  must  be  changed. 
In  the  last  letter  that  he  wrote  to  Bakunin,  he  disputed  the 
formula  which  they  had  both  formerly  believed  true.  Die  zersto- 
rende  Lust  ist  eine  schaffende  Lust  ("The  spirit  of  destruction  is 
the  spirit  of  reconstruction").    "We  dash  forward,"  he  said,  "  fol- 

*  The  bitter  contrast  to  be  met  with  in  Paris  between  the  expansion  of 
wealth  and  the  sufferings  of  poverty  inspired  Hegesippe  Moreau,  as  early 
as  1833,  with  a  paroxysm  of  savage  hatred,  which  made  him  desire  to  see 
the  great  capital  given  over  to  the  flames.  See  his  poem  entitled  V Hivcr. 
(See  also  an  article  by  M.  Mangin,  Econ.  Fran^ais,  22nd  of  April,  1882.) 


BAKUNIN  THE  APOSTLE   OF  NIHILISM.  243 

lowing  the  unknown  God  of  Destruction,  and  we  stumble  over  it..  i.<=j2. 
broken  treasures,  rolling  confusedly  amid  the  ashes  and  ruins 
of  all  things.  But  even  when  the  powder  shall  have  blown  up 
the  bourgeois  world,  after  the  smoke  shall  have  cleared  away 
and  the  ashes  shall  have  been  removed,  the  world  will  appear 
again,  modified  perhaps,  but  still  bourgeois.  And  why  ? 
Because  we  are  not  ready ;  because  neither  the  constructive 
mind  nor  the  new  organization  are  sufficiently  prepared." 

The  character  of  the  Russian  Nihilists  has  been,  as  we  know, 
depicted  in  Turgenieff 's  novel,  "  Virgin  Soil ; "  and  afterwards 
more  closely  in  that  of  Tchernicheffski,  "  What's  to  be  done  ?  " 
But  Russian  NihiUsm  must  not  be  confounded  with  our  western  ^  ■ 
type.  M.  Arnaudo,  in  his  book  on  "Nihilism  and  the  Nihilists  " 
(1B81),  analyzes  very  clearly  the  elements  which  make  up  the 
revolutionary  party  in  Russia.  It  is  at  bottom  only  a  bitter  and ' 
desperate  protest  against  despotism,  and,  if  we  may  beheve  the 
solemn  manifesto  published  by  the  press  of  the  Narodnaya 
Volyia,  on  the  24th  of  March,  after  the  tragical  death  of  the 
Emperor  Alexander,  what  the  Nihilists  demand  is  the  summon- 
ing of  a  Constitutional  Assembly,  to  the  decisions  of  which 
they  promise  to  submit. 

In  Western  Europe  neither  revolutions,  nor  constituent 
assemblies,  nor  republics  change  in  the  smallest  degree  the 
capitalistic  organization  of  Society;  it  is,  therefore,  the  social 
order  itself  that  anarchism  wishes  to  annihilate  with  all  its 
institutions  and  all  its  organs.  But  for  that,  there  is  wanted 
more  than  the  flames  of  petroleum  and  the  explosions  of  dyna- 
mite ;  more  even  than  the  fire  from  heaven  announced  in  the 
Gospels ;  it  is  the  heart  and  mind  of  man  that  must  be  raised. 
As  John  Stuart  Mill  said  in  his  "  Chapters  on  Socialism/' 
favourable  as  they  are  to  the  claims  of  the  labouring  classes, 
every  organization  better  than  that  which  at  present  exists 
supposes,  on  the  part  of  those  who  will  be  charged  with  putting 
it  into  practice,  a  higher  spirit  of  justice  and  a  better  apprecia- 
tion of  their  true  interests  than  are  commonly  to  be  found 
to-day. 


244  ^-^^  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


CHAPTER   XL 

COLLECTIVISM    AND    LAND    NATIONALIZATION. 

THE  word  Collectivism  is  quite  modern,  but  the  idea  forms 
part  of  every  system  of  Radical  Socialism.  iBLadical 
Socialism  would  either  abolish  altogether,  or  restrict  witliin 
narrow  limits,  the  right  of  hereditary  succession,  even  in  the 
direct  line,  because  its  effect  is  to  increase  inequality,  and  to 
give  to  the  heirs  the  enjoyment  of  property  which  they  have 
not  produced  themselves — an  effect  contrary  to  the  principle 
of  distributive  justice,  which  derives  property,  and  consequently 
the  right  to  its  enjoyment,  from  personal  labour.  If  the  right 
of  hereditary  succession  were  abolished  or  limited,  the  property 
thus  left  without  an  heir  would  lapse,  as  it  does  at  present,  to" 
the  State,  or  through  the  State  to  the  Commune,  and  in  this 
way  collective  property  would  necessarily  arise. 

Collectivism  may  be  conceived  more  or  less  completely 

applied,  according  as  the  State  is  endowed  with  the  ownership 

|-' of  the  soil  alone,  as  is  proposed  in  England  in  the  schemes  for 

''■'  "  land  nationalization  ;  "  or  also  with  the  ownership  of  all  fixed 

:.,  capital ;  or  even  with  that  of  circulating  capital  as  well,  in  this 

'  case  leaving  to  individuals  the  power  of  acquiring  objects  of 

enjoyment  only  as  the  immediate  product  of  labour. 

The  St.  Simonians  went  deeper  than  anybody  towards  the 
root  of  this  probTem.  Without  stopping  to  trace  the  plan  of 
any  ideal  organization,  as  Fourier,  Cabet,  or  even  Louis  Blanc 
did,  and  without  relying  on  the  doctrines  of  political  economy, 
as  Marx  and  i  assalle  have  since  so  skilfully  done,  they  at  once 
I  \  attacked  the  principle  of  hereditary  succession,  upon  which,  in 
'    point  of  fact,  everything  depends. 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      245 

What  constitutes  Collectivism  will  be  better  understood  if 
we  analyze  the  system  as  presented  by  the  writers  who  have 
most  clearly  explained  it.  M.  Louis  Blanc,  in  his  book  "The 
Organization  of  Labour,"  advocates  a  kind  of  collectivist 
svstem,  according  to  which  the  State  should  take  possession  o{ 
all  the  means  of  production — the  land,  mmes,  factories,  etc. — m 
order  to  entrust  the  working  of  them  to  associations  of  labourers. 
But  Louis  Blanc's  ideal  was  Communism,  with  the  formula, 
"  To  each  according  to  his  wants ;  from  each  according  to  his 
strength,"  while  the  CoUectivists  admit  that  recompense  should 
be  proportioned  to  work  done,  which  is  the  principle  of  indi- 
vidual responsibility.  Moreover,  Louis  Blanc  did  not  attempt 
to  determine  what  form  the  society  of  the  future  should  take. 

In  the  writings  of  Colins,  a  Belgian  Socialist,  and  still  more 
in  the  developments  of  his  theories  by  his  disciples,  Agathon 
de  Potter,  Hugentobler,  and  Borda,  Collectivism  takes  a  form 
easier  to  grasp,  especially  in  all  that  concerns  agrarian  organiza- 
tion. The  following  is  a  summary  of  their  theories,  preceded 
by  a  short  sketch  of  their  master's  life. 

Jean-Guillaume-Cesar-Alexandre-Hippolyte  Baron  de  CoHns 
was  born  at  Brussels  on  the  24th  of  December,  1783,  and  was 
the  son  of  the  Chevalier  Colins,  of  Ham.  He  was,  it  is  said, 
descended  from  Charles  the  Bold,  as  St.  Simon  was  from 
CKarTemagne.  He  was  brought  up  exclusively  by  his  mother 
untfr  he  was  seven  and  a  half  years  old,  when  his  father  sent 
him  for  education  to  an  old  friend  of  his,  a  former  Jesuit,  and 
vicar  at  Dison.  He  was  enrolled  as  a  volunteer  in  the  French 
army  at  the  time  when  the  descent  on  England  was  about  to 
take  place,  and  he  won  all  his  steps  on  the  field  of  battle.  In 
1819  he  settled  at  Havana  as  a  doctor.  He  returned  to 
France  immediately  after  the  revolution  of  1830.  The  sight  of 
the  tricolour  flag  recalled  to  him  his  youth,  and  he  became 
associated  with  the  Bonapartist  conspiracy.  He  continued 
very  intimate  with  Joseph  Bonaparte,  whom,  it  appears,  he  won 
over  to  his  ideas  of  reform.  In  1833  he  took  up  again  his 
scientific  studies,  attending  courses  in  Paris  in  all  the  faculties, 
and  published  in  1835  his  first  work,  entitled  Le  Fade  Social. 
In  it  he  already  formulated  Collectivism,  and  one  of  the  articles 


246  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

of  his  scheme  of  reform  is,  "  Immovable  property  belongs 
to  all." 

In  1848  Colins  was  accused  of  having  participated  in  the 
revolution  of  June,  but  was  pardoned.  He  died  at  Paris  on 
the  1 2th  of  November,  1859,  after  having  published  a  great 
number  of  works  and  leaving  numerous  manuscripts  afterwards 
brought  out  by  his  disciples.* 

Colins  and  his  disciples  attach  great  importance  to  their 
philosophical  views,  on  which  they  assert  their  whole  system, 
which  they  call  "Rational  Socialism,"  is  founded;  but  here 
the  want  of  special  study  is  clearly  felt.  They  admit  the  im- 
mortality of  our  spiritual  being,  which  they  call,  by  a  strange 
abuse  of  language,  "Sensibility,"  while  they  deny  the  existence 
of  a  Deity.  They  are  eager  to  prove  that  ^our~notions  oT 
morality,  justice,  and  equality  of  rights  are  based  solely  on  the 
permanence  of  the  human  personality,  but  they  fail  to  perceive 
that  the  pursuit  of  a  rational  order  implies  an  ideal  and  an 
origin  outside  of  ourselves.  They  are,  then,  at  once  Spiritualists 
and  Atheists. 

All  men,  they  say,  are  equal,  as  being  all  formed  by  the 
union  of  a  "  sensibility  "  to  an  organism.  All  men  are  brothers, 
as  having  all  the  same  origin.  Man  alone,  among  all  animate 
beings,  is  responsible  for  his  actions,  for  he  alone  is  a  conscious 

*  The  following  are  his  principal  works  : — 

Le  Facte  Sociale,  2  vols.,  8vo,  1835. 

V]i.conomie  poUtiqite  source  des  revolutions  et  des  utopies  pretendues 
Sociales,  3  vols.,  i2mo,  1856-57. 

Qtiest-ce  que  la  science  Sociale  ?  3  vols.,  8vo,  1851-54. 

La  Societe  nouvelle,  sa  nScessite,  2  vols.,  8vo,  1857, 

La  Souverainete,  2  vols.,  8vo,  1857-58. 

La  Science  Sociale,  5  vols.,  8vo,  1857. 

La  Justice  daizs  la  Science,  hors  PEglise  et  hors  la  Revolution,  5   vols 
8vo,  i86i.  ^ 

Colins  also  wrote  in  1848  in  certain  journals  :    La  Revolution  demo- 
cratique  et  Sociale,  the  Tribunal  des  Feuples,  and  the  Fresse. 

He  left  numerous  manuscripts,  the  publication  of  which  has  been  com- 
menced by  his  disciples.  In  this  way  the  Fhilosophie  de  ravenir,  the  organ 
of  the  Rational  Socialists,  has  published,  among  other  works,  the  fourth 
volume  of  Colins'  L'Ecojiomie  politique  ;  two  volumes  of  his  Science  Sociale 
the  sixth  and  the  eleventh  ;  different  minor  works,  such  as  the  Cholera 
moral,  Qui  done  est  peuple  ?  Exavien  critique  de  la  decadence  de  I'Attgle- 
terre,  by  Ledru-Rollin,  IJimpSt  pratique  cot?Jirr?iant  la  theorie,  etc.,  etc. 
The  editors  of  the  Fhilosophie  de  I'avenir  announce  that  they  will  publish 
in  succession  all  the  manuscripts  left  by  the  master. 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      247 

intelligent  and  free  agent.  In  opposition  to  the  physical 
order,  where  necessity  reigns  supreme,  there  is  a  moral  order, 
an  order  of  justice  and  freedom. 

As  man  is  a  responsible  agent,  his  every  action  must  in- 
fallibly and  inevitably  be  rewarded  or  punished  according  as 
it  does  or  does  not  conform  to  the  rules  imposed  by  his  con- 
science ;  and  this  sanction,  in  order  to  be  inevitable,  must  take 
place  in  a  subsequent  existence. 

The  aggregate  of  indisputable  reasonings  constitutes  "  im- 
personal reason,"  which,  when  looked  upon  as  prescribing 
a  rule  of  action,  may  be  called  "sovereignty." 

From  the  "  immateriality  of  the  sensibility  "  flow,  according 
to  Colins,  other  consequences  touching  man's  relations  to  the 
material  world,  that  is  to  say,  touching  his  social  economy. 
Man  alone,  he  says,  works ;  man  alone  is  an  agent,  properly  so 
called.  The  material  world  is  the  patient  on  which  man  acts 
with  the  aim  of  producing  something.  Originally  there  existed 
only  man  and  the  earth  on  which  he  lived  :  on  the  one  hand, 
labour;  and  on  the  other,  the  soil  or  raw  material,  without 
which  all  labour  would  be  impossible.  But  from  the  joint 
action  of  these  two  elements  of  production  there  soon  came 
into  being  wealth  of  a  peculiar  kind,  in  which  labour  was,  as  it 
were,  accumulated,  which  was  movable  and  separate  from  the 
soil.  This  was  capital.  It  assists  production  and  is  the  hand- 
maid of  labour,  but  in  order  to  make  use  of  it,  a  material  to 
which  it  can  be  applied  is  indispensable.  From  the  necessity 
to  which  man  is  subject  for  a  material  on  which  to  expend  his 
labour,  there  results,  according  to  Colins,  the  following  impor- 
tant consequence  :  Labour  is  free  when  the  raw  material,  the 
soil,  belongs  to  it ;  otherwise  it  is  enslaved.  Man  therefore 
can,  in  fact,  only  exercise  his  energy  with  the  permission  of  the  jj 
owners^of  the  raw  material;  and  he  who  requires  the  authority  j 
of  another  before  he  can  act  is  clearly  not  free.  In  order,  then,  { 
that  all  the  members  of  the  community  should  become  per- 
manent proprietors  of  the  national  soil,  the  soil  must  be 
collectively  appropriated. 

The  collective  appropriation  of  the  soil  implies,  in  the  first 
place,  that  it  should  be  at  the  disposal  of  all  who  wish  to 


248  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY.  ' 

utilize  it ;  and  secondly,  that  the  rent,  paid  by  the  tenants 
to  the  community,  should  be  expended  for  the  common  benefit 
of  all.  According  to  the  Belgian  Socialist,  there  are  only  two 
entirely  distinct  methods  of  holding  land  :  first,  that  adopted  at 
the  present  day,  in  which  the  soil  is  given  up  to  individuals,  or 
to  certain  classes  of  individuals,  and  labour  is  enslaved ; 
secondly,  the  system  of  the  future,  under  which  the  soil  will  be 
collective  property,  and  labour  will  be  free. 

The  above  relates  to  the  production  of  wealth.  Let  us  now 
consider  the  way  in  which  Rational  Socialism  regulates  its 
distribution. 

When  labour  is  free — as  is  necessarily  the  case  when  the 
land  is  accessible  to  all — every  one  can  live  without  being 
obliged  to  accept  wages  from  anybody.  In  that  case,  a  man 
would  work  for  others  only  if  they  offered  him,  as  wages,  more 
than  he  could  gain  by  working  for  himself  This  situation  is 
expressed  in  economic  terms  by  saying  that  then  wages  would 
tend  to  a  maximum,  and  when  it  exists,  the  distribution  of 
wealth  is  so  affected  that  the  larger  share  of  the  product  goes 
to  labour  and  the '  smaller  to  capital.  But  when  labour  is 
enslaved,  the  labourers  are  forced,  under  pain  of  starvation,  to 
compete  with  one  another  in  offering  their  labour  to  those  who 
possess  land  and  capital ;  and  then  their  wages  fall  to  what  is 
strictly  necessary  for  existence  and  reproduction  ;  while  if  the 
holders  of  wealth  do  not  need  labour,  the  unemployed  labourers 
must  disappear.  Wages,  then,  tend  to  a  minimum,  and  the  dis- 
tribution of  wealth  takes  place  in  such  a  way  that  the  greater 
part  goes  to  the  landowners  and  capitalists,  and  the  smaller 
to  the  labourers.  When  labour  is  free,  every  man's  wealth 
increases  in  proportion  to  the  toil  he  has  expended  ;  but  when 
labour  is  enslaved,  his  wealth  grows  in  proportion  to  the  capital 
h^  has  accumulated. 

From  these  two  opposite  modes  of  distribution  flow,  accord- 
ing to  Colins,  the  two  following  consequences,  each  of  which 
has  reference  to  one  or  other  of  the  two  systems  of  holding 
land  above  described.  When  land  is  owned  by  individuals, 
the  wealth  of  one  class  of  the  community  and  the  poverty  of 
the  other  increase  in  parallel  lines,  and  in  proportion  to  the 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      249 

growth  of  intellectual  power ;  but  when  land  is  collectively 
appropriated,  the  wealth  of  all  increases  in  proportion  to  the 
activity  of  each,  and  to  the  advance  of  civilization. 

Cohns  has  also  developed  some  original  views  on  the 
history  of  communities,  which  have  been  reproduced  by  M.  L. 
de  Potter  in  his  Didionnaire  Rationnel. 

At  the  first,  the  supremacy  of  brute  force  is  established  : 
the  father  of  the  family  rules,  the  strongest  of  the  tribe  com- 
mands. But  in  a  tolerably  large  community,  this  kind  of 
supremacy  can  never  long  endure,  for  he  who  is  at  one  time 
the  strongest  cannot  always  remain  such.  What  does  he  do, 
then  ?  In  order  to  continue  master,  he  converts,  as  Rousseau 
says,  his  strength  into  a  right,  and  obedience  to  him  into  a  duty. 
With  this  object  in  view,  he  asserts  that  there  exisfs" an  anthro- 
pomorphic almighty  being,  called  God ;  that  God  has  revealed 
rules  of  action,  and  has  appointed  him  the  infallible  lawgiver 
and  interpreter  of  this  revelation ;  that  God  has  endowed  every 
man  with  an  immortal  soul ;  and,  finally,  that  man  will  be 
rewarded  or  punished  in  a  future  life,  according  as  he  has 
or  has  not  regulated  his  conduct  by  the  revealed  law. 

It  is  not  enough,  however,  for  the  legislator  to  assert  these 
dogmas ;  he  must  further  preserve  them  from  examination,  and 
this  is  done  by  maintaining  ignorance  and  repressing  thought. 
Theocratic  sovereignty,  or  the  divine  right  of  kings,  is  thus 
established,  and  a  feudal  aristocracy  arises.  This  is  the  historic 
period,  called  by  Rational  Socialism  "  the  period  of  social 
ignorance  and  of  compressibility  of  examination." 

After  a  longer  or  shorter  interval,  in  consequence  of  the 
growth  of  intelligence,  the  discoveries  thereby  made,  and  the 
increasing  facility  of  communication  between  nations,  it  becomes 
impossible  to  repress  all  examination  entirely.  Then  the  super- 
human basis  of  society  is  disputed,  and  its  authority  falls  to 
the  ground.  The  divine  right  of  kings  loses  its  theocratic  mask, 
and  the  government  is  transformed  into  a  mere  supremacy  of 
force — that  is  to  say,  of  the  majority  of  the  people.  Aristocratic 
society  becomes  bourgeois,  and  enters  upon  the  historic  period 
of  "  ignorance  and  incompressibility  of  examination." 

Society,  then,  becomes  profoundly  agitated  and  disorganized. 


250  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  principles  which  used  to  insure  the  obedience  of  the  masses 
lose  their  sway.  Everything  is  examined,  and  scepticism  pre- 
vails. This  unfettered  examination  ends  in  the  denial  of  all 
supernatural  sanctions,  of  the  personality  of  the  Deity,  and  of 
the  immortality  of  the  soul  (to  mention  only  these  points),  and 
leads  to  the  affirmation  of  materialism.  Then,  personal  interest 
becomes  a  stronger  force,  with  an  ever-increasing  number  of 
individuals  than  ideas  of  order  and  of  devotion  to  principle, 
and  a  situation  is  brought  about  thus  defined  by  Colins  :  "  An 
epoch  of  social  ignorance,  in  which  immorality  increases  in 
proportion  to  the  growth  of  intelligence." 

As  pauperism  simultaneously  increases  in  the  same  propor- 
tions, it  follows  that  the  bourgeois  form  of  society  cannot  last. 
In  one  way  or  another  it  soon  falls  to  pieces,  and  the  supre- 
macy of  divine  right  is  restored,  until  a  new  revolution  ushers 
in  once  more  the  triumph  of  the  bourgeoisie.  Society  cannot 
escape  from  this  vicious  circle  in  which  it  has  revolved  from  the 
first,  until,  as  the  result  of  the  invention  and  development  of 
the  press,  and  of  the  absolute  impossibility  of  restricting  the 
examination  of  old  beliefs  consequent  thereon,  all  reversion  to 
the  theocratic  form  of  government  has  become  radically  im- 
possible.    When  that  time  comes,  humanity  must  either  perish 

;   in  anarchy,  or  organize  itself  conformably  to  scientific  reason. 

'^It  is  then  that  humanity  will  enter  on  the  last  period  of  its 
historical  development,  the  period  of  "  knowledge,"  which  will 
endure  as  long  as  the  human  race  can  exist  on  the  globe. 
According  to  Colins,  then,  a  theocratic  regime  is  order  founded 
on  despotism,  a  democratic  regime  is  liberty  engendering 
anarchy,  while  the  rational  or  "  logocratic "  regime  would 
secure,  at  the  same  time,  both  liberty  and  order. 

Hereafter,  according  to  the  Belgian  Socialist,  society  will  be 
definitively  organized  as  follows  : — All  men  being  by  right 
equal,  they  ought  all  to  be  placed  in  the  same  position  with 
regard  to  labour.  Man  is  free,  and  his  labour  should  be  free 
also.  .To  effect  this,  matter  should  be  subordinated  to  intelli- 
gence, labour  should  own  both  land  and  capital,  and  then  wages 
would  be  at  a  maximum.  All  men  are  brothers,  for  they  have 
a  common  origin  ;  hence,  if  any  are  unable  to  provide  for  them- 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      25  I 

selves,  society  should  take  care  of  them.  In  the  intellectual 
world  there  should  be  a  social  distribution  of  knowledge  to  all, 
and  in  the  material  world  a  social  appropriation  of  the  land  and 
of  a  large  portion  of  the  wealth  acquired  by  past  generations, 
and  transformed  into  capital. 

Society  should  give,  at  the  expense  of  all,  a  thorough  theore- 
tical and  practical  education  to  the  young,  who  would  thus  be  _ 
enabled  to  learn,  by  means  of  the  physical  sciences,  how  to  act  ■ 
upon  matter,  so  as  to  turn  it  to  the  best  advantage,  and,  by  , 
means   of  the  moral  sciences,  how  to  behave  towards  their  ; 
fellow-men.      When  they  leave  the  establishments  of  public  1 
education,  on  coming  of  age,  the  youths  should  go  through  a  I 
sort  of  probation  or  apprenticeship  for  active  life,  by  passing  a 
certain  period  in  the  service  of  the  State,  thus  repaying  for  the 
protection  accorded  to  them  during  their  minorities.     When 
those  of  full  age  enter  into  society  as  active  members,  each  of 
them  should  receive  as  a  portion  a  sum  of  money  taken  from 
the  State  surplus.     At  this  time  three  different  careers  would 
open  before  the  worker  :  he  could  either  work  on  his  own 
account,  or  in  association  with  others,  or,  if  he  should  wish  to 
avoid  all  risks,  he  could  hire  himself  to  another  worker  who 
would  direct  the  enterprise.     If  he  should  choose  either  of  the 
first  two  careers,  society  should  give  him  either  land  or  capital 
to  turn  to  account.       For  this  purpose,  the  land  would  be 
divided  into  farms  of  greater  or  less  dimensions  according  to 
the  locality,  the  wants  of  the  inhabitants,  and  the  requirements 
of  agriculture.     The  farms,  with  the  plant  necessary  to  work 
them,  should  be  let  to  the  highest  bidder,  who  should  be  for- 
bidden to   sublet.     Society  should  also  lend  capital,  so  as  to 
oblige  private  capitalists  not  to  exact  a  higher  rate  of  interest 
than  that  fixed  by  law. 

CoHns  further  designed  certain  other  measures  intended 
either  to  assure  the  predominance  of  labour  over  capital — in 
other  words,  to  raise  wages  as  high  as  possible — or  to  stimulate 
the  activity  of  each  individual  member  of  society  to  the  highest 
degree.  Measures  of  the  former  kind  were,  the  abolition  of 
perpetual  interest,  and  the  substitution  of  annuities  durmg  the 
life  of  the  creditor  as  a  means  of  repaying  debts;  the  prohibi- 


252  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tion  of  associations  of  capitalists,  those  of  labourers  being  alone 
permitted  ;  and  competition  of  the  community  itself  with  indi- 
vidual trading.  The  chief  measure  of  the  latter  species  con- 
sisted in  the  limitation  of  the  right  of  hereditary  succession  to 
the  direct  line  (the  power  of  making  a  will  being  preserved),  the 
diversion  to  the  public  use  of  all  other  successions  ab  intestato, 
and  the  imposition  of  a  heavy  tax  on  all  testamentary 
successions. 

By  means  of  all  these  measures  taken  together,  society 
would  put  into  practice  the  principles  of  liberty,  equality,  and 
fraternity,  and,  at  the  same  time,  would  render  impossible  all 
"  exploitation  "  of  labour  by  private  capital. 

The  disciples  of  Colins  assert  that  in  such  a  social  system 
f  j!  *^^.!'".?  jyoul*^.  be  complete  harmony  between  intelligence  and 
;!  ( property.  All  would  have  an  inalienable  share  in  the  land  ; 
all  would  at  least  have  the  necessaries  of  life,  would  enjoy  some 
leisure,  and  would  possess  the  intellectual  and  material  means 
of  happiness  on  earth.  A  society,  thus  founded  on  principles 
unquestionably  just,  need  not  fear  the  freest  examination. 
Being  conformable  to  reason,  and  guaranteeing  to  each  indi- 
vidual the  maximum  of  well-being  compatible  wth  his  nature, 
if  any  of  its  members  should  be  miserable,  he  would  have  but 
himself  to  blame.  Who,  then,  would  dream  of  overthrowing  a 
system  which  would  injure  nobody  and  would  give  satisfaction 
to  all  ? 

Although  the  disciples  of  Colins  have  succeeded  in  giving 
some  precision  to  the  idea  of  Collectivism,  there  are  many 
points  in  their  system,  and  those  the  most  important,  which 
remain  obscure.  The  land  and  part  of  the  capital  are  to 
belong  to  "the  collectivity;"  but  what  part  of  the  capital  is 
to  be  collective,  and  what  is  the  collectivity — the  Commune, 
the  State,  or  the  human  race?  The  farms  in  the  country 
districts  are  to  be  let  for  thirty  years.  Very  good ;  that  would 
be  to  apply  generally  what  the  State  does  at  present  in  Prussia, 
for  example,  where  it  possesses  numerous  domains,  which  it 
lets  on  the  best  terms  in  the  interest,  first,  of  good  husbandr)', 
and,  secondly,  of  the  public  treasury.  But  how  are  mines, 
manufactures   of   all   kinds,    and    railways    to   be   managed? 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      253 

Every  individual  on  attaining  majority  is  to  be  given  a  portion 
to  enable  him  to  work  independently  and  exclusively  for  his 
own  profit ;  but  will  not  this  portion,  paid  probably  in  money, 
be  foolishly  spent,  to  the  injury  of  the  young  generation  and 
of  the  whole  community?  If  Collectivism  is  to  be  anything 
more  than  land  nationalization,  and  if  it  is  to  be  applied  to 
manufacture,  it  assumes  the  success  of  co-operative  societies 
in  winning  the  business  of  manufacture  from  the  capitalist 
regime.  But  in  that  case  the  difficulties  already  pointed  out 
in  analyzing  Lassalle's  projects  of  reform  will  inevitably  arise. 

In  a  charming  book,  entitled  Le  Rigne  Social  da  Christian- 
is?ne,  FranQois  Huet  has  expressed  ideas  very  similar  to  those 
of  the  disciples  of  Colins,  but  he  has  borrowed  them  directly 
from  the  lofty  moral  teaching  of  Platonism  and  Christianity. 
This  work,  every  page  of  which  glows  with  a  burning  love  of 
justice,  contains  a  complete  theory  of  society — a  sociology 
based  on  Christianity,  Avhich  has  not  met  with  the  attention 
it  deserves,  because  it  is  too  full  of  Christianity  for  Socialists, 
and  too  full  of  Socialism  for  Christians. 

Frangois  Huet  was  born  in  1 814,  at  the  town  of  Villeau, 
in  Beauce,  and  died  at  Paris  in  1869.  When  a  pupil  at  the 
Stanislas  College  he  obtained  by  hard  work  amid  the  keenest 
competition  the  most  unprecedented  success.  At  the  age  of 
twenty-two  he  was  appointed  Professor  of  Philosophy  at  the 
University  of  Ghent,  a  post  which  he  retained  up  to  1850. 
He  was  the  disciple  of  a  spiritualist  philosopher,  a  man  of 
very  vigorous  intellect,  Bordas-Demoulin,  and,  through  him, 
of  Descartes  and  Plato.  Protesting  to  the  last  against  Ultra- 
montanism  and  its  new  dogmas,  they  were  the  last  Gallicans 
of  the  school  of  Pascal  and  Bossuet.  About  the  year  1846 
his  philosophical  studies  led  Huet  to  approach  social  ques- 
tions, as  has  been  the  case  with  most  of  the  philosophers  of 
our  times  :  for  example,  Jules  Simon,  Janet,  Caro,  in  France ; 
Herbert  Spencer  in  England ;  Fichte  and  the  followers  of 
Hegel  in  Germany  ;  Rosmini  and  Mamiani  in  Italy.  At 
Ghent,  Huet  collected  around  him  a  group  of  pupils,  among 
whom  was  the  author  of  this  book,  and  from  before  1848  we 
thoroughly  studied,  each  with  his  own  preferences,  the  various 


254  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

systems  of  social  reform.  It  was  in  the  discussions  which 
took  place  among  this  band  of  friends,  all  of  them  imbued 
with  their  master's  ideas  of  equality,  that  the  author  formed 
his  convictions  on  the  social  question,  which  have  varied 
little  since  then,  and  which  contemporary  events  have  served 
only  to  confirm.  Huet  also  published,  in  1864,  La  Scietice 
de  r Esprit.  He  presided  over  the  education  of  Prince  Milan, 
now  King  of  Servia,  and  even  followed  him  to  Belgrade. 
Having  returned  to  Paris  to  undergo  treatment  for  a  severe 
disease,  he  died  from  the  effects  of  a  surgical  operation.  His 
friends  have  erected  a  monument  to  his  memory  in  the  cemetery 
of  Mount  Parnassus. 

I  shall  here  mention  only  those  views  of  Huet  which 
relate  to  social  organization.  For  the  basis  of  his  system  he 
takes  the  principles  of  1789,  and  endeavours  to  realizein 
everything  the  motto,  "  Liberty,  Equality,  Fraternify." ""TIis 
ideas,  on  this  point  were,  without  his  knowing  it,  similar  to 
those  of  Fichte  as  contained  in  the  book  already  mentioned, 
"  Materials  for  justifying  the  French  Revolution."  The 
following  is  a  summary  of  them  : — Men  are  by  right  equal. 
The^  individual  ought  to  be  able  freely  to  develop  himself; 
but  property  is  a  necessary  condition  of  liberty.  Property 
is,  therefore,  a  natural  right,  and  as  such  should  belong  to 
everybody. 

"Either  words  have  no  meaning,  or  to  place  property  among  natural 
rights  impUes  that  the  original  investitive  title  to  the  good  things  of  the 
earth  is  the  quality  of  humanity ;  that  the  quality  of  humanity  gives  rise 
in  itself  to  an  immediate  right  to  a  determinate  share  in  these  good  things  ; 
an  original  property  which  would  become  for  everybody  the  source,  the 
foundation,  and  the  means  of  obtaining  all  the  rest.  This  is  the  direct 
consequence  of  the  right  to  live.  Is  not  this  right  the  same  for  all,  and 
do  not  all  equally  need  the  means  of  living?  Has  not  everybody,  born 
in  the  image  of  God,  a  right  to  his  original  patrimony,  to  this  magnificent 
present  from  God  ?  By  reason  of  his  place  in  the  series  of  the  generations 
of  men,  has  not  every  man  also  a  right  to  the  capital  handed  down  by  his 
forefathers,  the  joint  acquisition  of  men  ?  Nobody  ought  to  live  at  another's 
expense.  Every  man  who  has  not  forfeited  it  has  the  right  to  live  free. 
It  is  his  right  that  his  subsistence,  his  labour,  should  not  be  dependent 
on  the  good  will  of  others  ;  and  however  free  he  may  be  in  his  person,  if 
he  does  not  possess,  of  natural  right,  anything  in  advance,  any  capital, 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      255 

if  he  is  not  a  proprietor,  by  virtue  of  his  being  a  man  and  a  worker,  he 
can  produce,  he  can  live,  only  by  the  permission  of  his  fellow-men  ;  he 
must  fall  into  a  veritable  slavery.  It  has  been  said,  and  it  cannot  be  said 
too  often,  property  is  an  absolute  condition  of  freedom.  Why,  then,  out 
of  a  general  right,  build  up  a  monstrous  privilege  ?  Why  refuse  to  recog- 
nize in  humanity  the  first,  the  most  sacred  title  to  the  possession  of 
things  ?  "  * 

According  to  Huet's  s}^stem,  the  natural  right  to  property 
would  be  realized  in  the  "  right  to  patrimony,"  by  virtue  of 
which  every  person  in  a  position  to  labour  would  obtain  a 
share  in  the  general  wealth.  "  Every  year  a  division  should 
be  made  of  the  patrimonial  property  left  ownerless  through 
deaths.  All  the  young  people  of  either  sex,  who  during 
this  year  reach  the  age  of  either  fourteen  or  twenty-five  years, 
should  obtain  a  share,  the  share  of  each  person  of  full  age 
being  double  the  share  of  each  minor."  The  right  of  hereditary 
succession  is  abolished,  but  gifts  by  will  or  inter  vivos  are 
authorized.  Each  person,  however,  can  dispose  only  of  pro- 
perty acquired  by  his  own  labour,  and  not  of  that  received 
by  way  of  gift  or  legacy.  This  goes  to  increase  the  common 
patrimony,  "  Continuously  fed  from  an  inexhaustible  source, 
the  general  patrimony  would  be  composed,  at  any  given  time, 
of  all  the  ancient  patrimonial  property  and  of  all  the  subsequent 
accumulations  of  capital ;  for  as  these  accumulations  could 
only  once  change  hands  by  way  of  gift,  at  the  deaths  of  the 
donees  they  would  go  to  swell  the  mass  of  the  original 
patrimony. 

Levelling  Socialist  as  Huet  is  when  he  claims  for  all 
an  equal  right  of  accession  to  property,  he  is  a  thorough  indi- 
vidualist on  the  question  of  the  organization  of  labour.  He 
rejects  all  State  intervention ;  he  does  not  like  even  cor- 
porations holding  industrial  capital.  The  individual,  put  in 
possession  of  "his  patrimony,"  may  work  by  himself,  or  in 
partnership  with  others,  provided  he  do  so  freely,  without  any 
privileges  or  close  corporations. 

*  In  support  of  his  thesis,  Huet  cites  numerous  authorities,  and  amongst 
others,  Chateaubriand.  "  Wages  are  only  a  prolonged  slavery  "  {Ess.  Hist, 
sur  la  Liti.  AngL,  t.  ii.  p.  392).  "  Without  individual  property  nobody  is 
free.  Whoever  has  no  property  cannot  be  independent.  Property  is 
nothing  else  but  liberty  "  {Memoires  d' outre-tonibe) . 


256  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

In  a  very  simple  society,  depending  principally  on  agri- 
culture, it  would  not  be  impossible  to  put  in  practice  "the 
right  to  patrimony."  In  my  book  La  Propriete  et  ses  formes 
prwiitives*  I  have  shown  how  this  actually  takes  place  in 
the  Russian  mir,  in  the  dessa  of  Java,  in  the  Swiss  allmc7id, 
and  in  the  periodic  partition  of  Communal  lands  which  existed 
everywhere  in  the  infancy  of  agriculture ;  but  how  is  this  system 
to  be  applied  to  our  present  social  state,  without  the  interven- 
tion of  permanent  trade  corporations  or  co-operative  societies  ? 
This  is  what  neither  Huet  nor  Colins  enables  us  to  under- 
stand. The  merit  of  his  book,  Le  Regjie  Social  du  Christianisme, 
consists,  not  in  this  summary  scheme  of  social  reorganization, 
which  I  have  often  discussed  with  him  without  his  ever  being 
able  to  formulate  it  clearly,  but  in  the  principles  of  justice, 
which  he  explains  in  a  luminous  way,  while  connecting  them 
closely  with  the  traditions  of  the  Old  Testament  and  the 
Gospel. 

The  system  of  "  Land  Nationalization,"  according  to  which 

the  collective  principle  is  applied  only  to  land,  has  found  a 

certain   number  of  adherents  in   England,  even  among   very 

distinguished  minds,  as,  for  example,  the  eminent  naturalTst, 

Mr.  A.  R.  Wallace. t     It  has  never  been  explained  in  a  more 

.brilliant  style  than  in  the  book  of  an  American  writer,  Mr.  Henry 

.   George,  called  "  Progress  and  Poverty."     Numerous  editions 

;  of  this  work  have  been  sold  both  in  the  United  States  and  jn 

h  England.     It  has  been  translated  into  several  languages  and 

'8  discussed  in  almost  all  the  English  and  American  reviews  and 

newspapers.      It  produced   so   great   an   impression  that  the 

author   has   been    asked   to   explain   his    theories   before   an 

assembly  of  some  of  the  clergy  of  the  Established  Church,  and 

dissenting  ministers  and  university  professors  have  presided  at 

conferences  and  organized  meetings  to  spread  his  ideas.     In 

this  book,  animated  with  the  spirit  of  levelling  Christianity  and 

written  with  great  talent,  Mr.  George  proposes  "  to  seek  the  law 

which   associates  i^overty  with  progress,  and  increases  want 

*  This  book  has  been  translated  into  English.  London,  Macmillan,  1878. 
t  See  his  "Land  Nationalization:  its  Necessity  and  its  Aims,"  London, 
1882. 


COLLECTIVISM  AND   LAND   NATIONALIZATION      257 

with  advancing  wealth  "  in  all  civilized  communities.     Thirty 
years  ago,  he  says,  he  saw  California  in  its  infancy.     There  was   i 
little  capital,  no  machines,  iio  good  roads,  no  large  cities ;  the   ' 
settler  inhabited  a  log-cabin ;  but  every  one  could  make  a  living, 
and  there  were  no  beggars.     To-day  San  Francisco  is  a  wealthy 
town,  where  dwell  millionnaires,  and  where  their  palaces  rise  in    , 
all  directions.     Capital  is  abundant  and  is  accumulating  with    \ 
unprecedented  rapidity ;    meanwhile  wages   have  fallen  more 
than  one-half,  and  in  the  streets  lined  with  princely  mansions, 
lit  with  gas,  and  thronged  with  liveried  equipages,  beggars  wait 
for  the  passer-by,  and  "the  more  hideous  Huns  and  fiercer 
Vandals,"  of  whom  Macaulay  prophesied,  become  every  day 
more  numerous.     Go  where  you  may,  the  same  contrast  will 
strike  you  :  where  capital  is  most  abundant,   there  also  is  the  'j 
deepest  poverty — look,  for  example,  at  London  or  Paris.      In 
primitive  communities,  reckoned  as  poor,  and  where,  in  fact, 
capital  is  scarce,  there  is  no  great  wealth,  indeed,  but  there  is 
no    destitution.       Economic    history    presents    similar   facts. 
Formerly,  when  all  works  were  carried  on  by  hand.  Society, 
considered  as  a  whole,  was  poor,  but  the  labourer  had  work 
assured  to  him  by  which   he  could  obtain  a  living.     To-day  ; 
machines  produce  useful  articles  in  abundance  and  with  iTiaFvel-  S 
lous  ease.     The  forest-tree  is  sawn  into  planks  and  transformed  I 
into  doors  or  window-frames,  without  the  touch  of  the  hand  of  | 
man,  save  to  guide  the  engines  which  do  the  work.     In  cotton  * 
or  woollen  factories,  the  mule-jenny,  tended  by  one  workman, 
spins   as   much   yarn   as    fifteen  hundred  workwomen    could 
formerly  have  done.      Cyclopean  steam-hammers  forge  huge 
masses  of  steel,    while   mechanical  contrivances   of  extreme 
delicacy  make  watches  at  a  wonderfully  small  cost.     Augers 
with  diamond-points  pierce  the  rocks.     Gas,  petroleum,  elec- 
tricity, light  us   for  almost  nothing.     Highly  finished  engines 
perform  all  agricultural  operations  ;   while  railways  and  steam- 
ships bear  to  us  from  the  slopes  of  the  Flimalayas  and  from  the 
far  West  the  harvests  of  virgin  soils. 

It  is  beyond  dispute  that  human  labour,  aided  by  these 
powerful  and  marvellous  machines,  amply  suffices  to  assure  to 
all  the  inhabitants  of  civilized  countries  the  mil  satibiacclon  of 

s 


258  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

all  their  material  wants.  How  is  it,  then,  that  poverty  continues 
in  our  midst  and  reaches  the  very  producers  of  all  this  wealth  ? 
Has  the  progress  of  civilization  for  its  inevitable  result  the 
creation  of  pauperism  ? 

Mr.  George  tries  to  show  that  economists  are  mistaken  in 
attributing  this  excessive  inequality  to  what  they  call  the  law  of 
wages  and  the  law  of  population.     They  maintain  that  if  wages 
are  insufficient,  it  is,  firstly,  because  there  is  not  enough  capital 
destined  for  the  support  of  labour ;  and  next,  because  the  too 
rapid  increase  of  population  reduces  the  share  of  each  labourer 
to  the  bare  necessaries  of  life  or  even  lower.      Mr,  George  dis- 
putes both  these  propositions.      The  labourer,  he  maintains, 
lives  on  the  product  of  his  labour  and  not  upon  capital ;  if,  then, 
a  portion   of  his  product  was  not  taken   away  from  him,  he 
would  be  better   off  in   proportion   as  labour   became   more 
productive ;  and  as  to  the  law  of  Malthus,  it  is  inapplicable  to 
man,  for  of  all  living  beings  he  alone  can  augment  without 
limit  the  production  of  all  that  is  necessary  for  his  subsistence. 
Extreme  inequality  proceeds,  according  to  Mr.  George,  solely 
from  rent,  which  swallows  up  all  the  advantages  of  economic 
progress.    There  are  three  factors  of  production  :  land,  labour, 
and  capital.   Each  is  remunerated  by  a  part  of  the  produce  which 
is  called,  in  the  case  of  land,  rent ;  in  the  case  of  labour,  wages ; 
and  in  the  case  of  capital,  interest.     The  produce  is,  therefore, 
equivalent  to  rent,  plus  wages,  plus  interest.     If  rent  increases, 
wages  and  interest  will  be  less ;  for  the  produce  minus  rent  is 
equivalent  to  wages  plus  interest.     In  proportion  as  population 
and  wealth  increase,  the  price  of  food  rises,  and  consequently 
the  rent  of  land  which  produces  the  food  also  rises.     Improve- 
ments in  the  arts  which  diminish  the  cost  of  production  also 
contribute  to  increase  the  profits  of  the  farmer,  and,  soon  after- 
wards, the  income  of  the  landowner.     The  rise  in  rent  may  be 
checked  by  improved  methods  of  agriculture,  which  create  more 
produce,   or  by  the  cheapness  of  means  of  transport,  which 
enable  food  to  be  brought  from  a  sparsely  peopled  country  to  a 
densely  peopled  one ;  but  these  checks  to  the  rise  of  rent  are 
only  temporary.     The  general  increase  of  population  causes 
them  little  by  little   to  disappear.     The  clear  gain  from  all 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      259 

improvements  and  from  all  progress  finds  its  way  at  last  into 
the  pockets  of  the  landowners.  The  labourer  gains  no  advan- 
tage therefrom,  and  as  living  becomes  more  difficult  as  the  price 
of  food  rises,  there  results  privation  for  the  working  classes  and 
destitution  for  those  least  well  off.  When  in  California,  to 
recall  Mr.  George's  illustration,  there  was  land  for  any  one  who 
wished  to  take  it,  rent  did  not  exist,  and  the  labourer  enjoyed 
the  entire  product  of  his  labour.  To-day,  in  order  to  obtain 
access  to  the  natural  agents  and  raw  materials  upon  which  to 
work,  he  must  abandon  to  rent  everything  beyond  the  bare 
necessaries. 

To  prevent  poverty  from  increasing  side  by  side  with  wealth,  ' 
Mr.~TJeorge  sees  only  one  remedy,  namely,  to  make  over  the 
ownership  "of  the  land  to  the  State.    To  accomplish  this  reform,  1] 
he  says,  it  is  not  necessary  to  have  recourse  to  expropriation  ;  'j 
it  will  be  enough  to  raise  the  land-tax  so  as  to  absorb  rent,  as 
is  done  in  certain  provinces  in  India  where  the  State  is,  in  con- 
sequence, looked  upon  as  the  proprietor  of  the  land.     All  other 
taxes   might    then    be   abolished,  and   trade,    freed   from   all 
shackles,  would  receive  such  an  impetus  that  general  well-being 
would  result.     This  idea  of  a  rent-tax  is  at  bottom  the  same  as 
that  of  the  Physiocrats,  a  single  tax  on  land. 

Towards  the  close  of  his  life,  J.  S.  Mill  proposed  that  the 
State  should  take  the  whole  increase  of  rent  which  was  due  to 
the  collective  progress  of  society  and  not  to  the  individual 
efforts  of  the  proprietor.  A  French  landowner,  M.  Edgard 
Baron,  in  his  "  Protest  against  the  Abusive  Extension  of  the 
Right  of  Property,"  has  uttered  ideas  similar  to  those  of  Mr. 
George. 

I  believe  that  it  is  a  mistake  to  see  in  rent  the  principal  cause 
of  inequality.  In  so  far  as  it  levies  the  exceptional  produce  of 
the  more  fertile  land,  it  establishes,  on  the  contrary,  equality 
among  the  cultivators  of  lands  which  differ  in  productivity. 
Were  it  not  for  rent,  the  cultivator  of  fertile  soil  would  obtain 
for  the  same  effort  a  much  greater  remuneration  than  the  man 
who  worked  refractory  land.  It  is  capital,  ever  growing,  which 
engrosses  a  larger  and  larger  share  of  the  total  product. 
Formerly  the  principal  factor  was  labour.     Now,  in  proportion 


~f 


!    i 


260  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

as  the  means  of  production  have  been  improved,  there  is  need 
of  more  capital ;  this  capital,  represented  by  mortgages,  shares, 
and  bonds,  permits  its  holders  to  live,  not  on  rent,  but  on 
profits  and  interest.  The  rate  of  interest  tends  to  diminish  in 
proportion  as  the  amount  of  capital  increases,  but  the  total 
amount  of  interest  is  augmented.  It  follows,  as  Rodbertus  has 
shown,  that  the  total  share  of  wages  diminishes  relatively  to 
that  of  rent  and  interest. 

Collectivism  applied  to  land  only,  and  having  no  other 

'  effect  than  to  make  rent  payable  to  the  State,  would  be  of 

:   comparatively  easy  application,  for  it  would  leave  the  present 

;j  organization  of  Society  entirely  intact.     But  it  Avould  be  by  no 

means  the  same  thing  with  Collectivism  universjally  applied,  as 

demanded  by  most   contemporary  Socialists.    1  An  outline  of 

this  system  was  presented  by  M.  de  Paepe  to  the  Congress  of 

the  International  at  Brussels  in  1868,  and  also  to  that  at  Bale 

in  1869  ;  but,  so  far  as  the  author  is  aware,  the  only  publication 

in   which  the  scheme  has  been  explained  and  treated  in  a 

scientific    way  is  a   little   pamphlet   entitled    Quintessenz   des 

Socialismiis*     It  is  an  extract  from  a  large  work  on  Sociology  : 

Bau  unci  Leben  des  Socialen  Korpers,  by  Dr.  Albert  Schgefifle, 

former  Minister  of  Finance  in  Austria,  and  one  of  the  most 

eminent  of  German  economists. 

Let  us  endeavour,  with  the  aid  of  Dr.  Schceffle's  analysis,  to 
get  a  true  idea  of  the  Social  state  desired  by  the  thorough-going 
Collectivists.  We  must  beware  of  confounding  this  system 
with  the  ancfent  communistic  Utopias,  the  ideal  of  which  was 
a  Trappist  monastery,  with  common  labour,  common  living, 
and  the  common  enjoyment  of  produce  quite  irrespective  of 
individual  work  done,  as,  in  fact,  takes  place  in  family  life. 
Collectivism,  on  the  contrary,  admits  of  the  breaking  up  of  the 
community  into  families,  and,  by  apportioning  remuneration  to 
produce  obtained,  it  seeks  to  preserve  the  incentive  of  private 
interest.  In  a  CoUectivist  State,  there  would  be  as  many 
co-operative  societies  as  there  are  principal  branches  of  labour  : 
agricultural  societies,  transport  societies,  and  manufacturing 
societies  of  all  kinds.  Farms,  mines,  railways,  factories,  work- 
*  Translated  into  French  by  M.  B.  Malon. 


COLLECTIVISM  AND  LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      26 1 

shops,  in  theory  the  collective  property  of  the  State,  would,  in 
practTce,~l)e  handed  over  to  corporations  of  working  men,  who 
would  manage  them  in  the  same  way  as  joint-stock  companies 
do-to-day.  Workmen  would  be  paid  in  proportion  to  the 
amount  and  the  quality  of  their  work.  They  would,  therefore, 
have  the  same  incentive  as  at  present  to  bring  to  their  labour 
the  virtues  of  energy  and  carefulness.  The  difference  would 
be  that,  on  the  one  hand,  they  would  obtain  the  full  product  of 
their  labour,  as  nothing  would  have  to  be  deducted  for  rent, 
interest,  or  profits,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  everybody  would  be 
obliged  to  work,  as  the  means  of  production,  having  ceased  to 
be  private  property,  would  no  longer  furnish  private  incomes, 
such  as  at  present  permit  people  to  live  in  idleness. 

In  primitive  societies,  where  every  man  owns  the  instruments 
of  production,  his  plot  of  land,  his  loom,  or  his  tool,  private  ,  '"'  , 
property  realizes  the  aim  of  justice,  which  consists  In  "allowing  ji  ^*^- 
evefymari"' to"" enjoy  the  entire  fruits  of  his  labour.  But  under 
the  regime  of  industrial  production  on  a  large  scaTe  and  large 
landed  estates,  with  their  concomitants  of  wage-earning  and 
tenant-farming,  the  remuneration  of  labour  is  reduced  to  a 
minimum  by  the  competition  for  land  or  for  employment,  that 
is'to  say,  by  the  tolls  levied  by  the  possessors  of  land  and  capital. 
Collectivism,  by  means  of  the  system  of  co-operative  production 
necessitated  by  the  employment  of  machines,  aims  at  realizing 
the  results  of  generalized  private  property,  namely,  the  assurance 
of  the  full  enjoyment  of  the  produce  to  the  producer.  Every- 
thing relating  to  the  means  of  transport  and  to  the  circulating 
medium,  whether  money  or  credit,  would  become  a  pubhc 
department.  Dr.  Schaeffle  even  supposes  the  realization  of  a 
general  scheme  of  remuneration  and  exchange,  like  that  suggested 
by  Proudhon  and  Marx,  and  which  would  be  of  the  following 
natut-e.  In  accordance  with  the  theory  of  those  economists  who 
consider  labour  the  exclusive  source  of  value,  the  workman 
would  receive  for  each  article  the  price  of  as  many  hours  of 
labour  as,  "  on  the  average,"  were  required  for  the  manufacture 
of  the  article.  The  price  would  be  paid  in  labour-notes  exchange- 
able for  goods.  The  goods  for  sale  would  be  deposited  in  public 
warehouses  or  co-operative  stores,  where  they  would  be  ex- 


262  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

changed  for  the  labour-notes  and  the  labour-notes  for  them. 
This  mechanism  of  exchange  is  ingenious.  The  larger  co-opera- 
tive stores  in  London  give  some  idea  of  it,  though  they  do  not 
form  an  integral  part  of  Collectivism.  A  more  accurate  con- 
ception of  the  system  would  be  gained  by  supposing  that  the 
"  Equitable  Pioneers  of  Rochdale  "  had  been  so  successful  that 
everything  had  passed  into  their  hands — lands,  houses,  shops, 
factories,  and  working  establishments  of  all  kinds— and  that  all 
other  districts  had  followed  the  example  of  Rochdale. 

Collectivism  does  not  involve  the  complete  abolition  of 
hereditary  succession ;  but  as  all  immovable  property  woiild 
belong  to  either  State,  Communes,  or  Corporations,  and  as  every 
man  would  be  obliged  to  live  henceforth  by  the  trade  he 
exercised  or  by  the  function  he  fulfilled,  it  would  follow  that 
the  power  of  accumulation  would  be  very  much  reduced,  and 
that  the  right  of  inheritance  would  be  limited  to  movables. 

Dr.  Schaeffle  seems  almost  to  believe  that  such  an  ideal 
might  be  realized  in  the  future ;  at  any  rate,  he  points  out  clearly 
the  condition  of  ultimate  success.  No  Socialist  reform,  he  says, 
can  succeed  which  ignores  the  psychological  fact  on  which  the 
individualistic  system  at  present  rests,  namely,  that  private 
1  interest  is  the  great  incentive  to  production.  It  is  not  by  formal 
\  rules,  nor  by  appeals  to  sentiments  of  duty  and  honour,  that  we 

I  can  secure  the  care  and  zeal  necessary  for  producing  as  much 
as  possible  at  the  lowest  cost,  without  waste  of  time  or  material. 
I   The  main  difficulty  lies  in  the  efficient  management  of  large 
1   industrial  enterprises.     It  is  through  the  want  of  good  manage-^ 
I  ment  that  so  many  co-operative  societies  have  failed.     Collec- 
tivism assumes  that  bodies   of  working  men  are  capable  of 
carrying  on  collective  industries  with  as  much  success  as  enter- 
prises based  on  private  property.     Once  they  have  given  proof 
of  this,  the  triumph  of  the  new  organization  will  only  be  a  ques- 
tion of  time  ;  but  so  long  as  the  labouring  classes  do  not  show 
themselves  capable  of  doing  without  the  guidance  of  masters, 
i  all  attempts  at  hastening,  by  revolutionary  means,  the  advent 
of  the  new  order  of  things  will  only  end  in  lamentable  failure. 
Collectivism,  also  called  by  its  advocates  Com/fmnisme  liber- 
taire,   has  become  the  watchword  of  revolutionary  Socialism 


^ 


COLLECTIVISM  AND   LAND  NATIONALIZATION.      263 

throughout  all   Europe,    as  is  shown  by  the  manifestoes  and 
programmes  occasionally  published ;  but  among  Collectivists 
there  are  several  degrees,  and,  as  usually  happens,  those  most  I 
nearly  related  hate  each  other  the  most  cordially.     According  1 
to  information  that  I  owe  to_  the  courtesy  of  M.  B.  Malon,  the 
author  of  a  good  history  of  Socialism,  and  himself  one  of  the 
leaders  of  the  movement  in  Paris,   the  Collectivist  party  in 
France   may  be   approximately   divided  as  follows  : — At   the 
extreme  left  are  the  Anarchists  or  Nihilists,  of  whom  Prince 
Krapotkine  may  be  taken  as  the  ideal  type.     Their  idea  of 
"  Anarchy  "  resembles  that  of  Proudhon,  but  they  are  more 
directly  connected  with    Bakunin,   who,   by  means  of  secret 
societies  formed  from  the  remnants  of  the  International,  has 
spread  the  ideas  of  Russian  Nihilism  throughout  all  Socialist 
circles.     The  Anarchists  are  not  numerous,  but  they  are  very 
fanatical,  and  their  extreme  members  shrink  from  no  means — 
petroleum,  fire,  bombs,  dynamite,  even   assassination,  as  has 
recently  been  shown  in  Andalusia.      Their  creed  does   not, 
however,  make  much  progress  in  France,  because  the  French 
genius  likes  clear  ideas  and  a  programme  carefully  thought 
out,    and  containing  a  plan    of  reform   easy  to   grasp.     The 
Collectivists,   properly  so  called,  may  be  themselves  divided 
into  two  groups,  especially  since   the    Congress   held    at   St. 
Etienne  in  September,   1882  :    (i)   the    Irreconcilable  Collec- 
tivists,   who    look    for    a    revolutionary   movement   like   the 
Jacobins  of  old ;   and    (2)  the  Evolutionist-CoUectivists,  who 
are  beginning  to  accept  as  a  truth  the  doctrine  of  science,  that 
changes  in  the  social  order,  as  in  nature,  are  only  brought  about 
slowly  and  by  a  process  of  evolution.     These  latter  are  called  ' 
"  Possibilists,"  because  they  are  anxious  to  make  their  claims 
in  a  legal  manner,  and  to  take  part  in  elections,  not  merely  as 
a  protest,  but  also  with  the  aim  of  making  their  ideas  prevail  in 
Parliament  and  in  the  Municipal  Councils.     In  this  they  follow 
the  course  adopted  by  the  German  Socialists,  who  have  thus 
succeeded,  not  only  in  sending  representatives  to  the  Reichstag, 
but  also  in  inducing  the  Government — partly,  no  doubt,  out  of 
consideration  for  the  large  number  of  Socialist  votes — to  take 
up  the  question  of  social  reforms. 


264  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  Evolutionist-CoUectivists  or  Possibilists  are  much  the 
most  nmnerous  among  the  Socialist  working  men,  and  they 
are  continually  gaining  ground  on  the  Irreconcilables,  the  Anar- 
chists and  Jacobins,  who  look  upon  them  as  traitors  and 
cowards.  In  order  to  give  a  more  precise  idea  of  their 
principles,  I  shall  here  reproduce  the  most  important  passages 
from  one  of  their  programmes  issued  at  the  National  Congress 
at  Havre  in  1880  : — 

"Whereas  the  emancipation  of  the  productive  classes  is  the  emancipa- 
tion of  all  human  beings  irrespective  of  sex  or  race,  and  whereas  the  producers 
can  never  be  really  free  until  they  possess  the  means  of  production,  and 
whereas  there  are  only  two  forms  under  which  the  means  of  production  can 
belong  to  them  :  (i)  the  individual  form,  which  has  never  existed  as  a  general 
fact,  and  which  is  being  more  and  more  circumscribed  by  industrial  progress  ; 
{2)  the  collective  form,  the  material  and  intellectual  elements  of  which  are 
furnished  by  the  very  growth  of  capitalistic  society  :  the  French  Socialist 
working  men,  while  announcing,  as  the  aim  of  their  efforts  regarding  the 
economic  order,  a  return  to  the  collective  ownership  of  all  the  means  of 
production,  have  decided  to  take  part  in  elections  with  the  following 
programme 

"  Economic  Programme. 

"  (i)  One  day  of  rest  in  the  week  ;  reduction  of  the  labour  of  adults_to 
eight  hours  per  day  ;  prohibition  of  the  employment  of  children  under 
fourteen  years  of  age  in  factories.  (2)  A  minimum  rate  of  wages  to  be  fixed 
by  law  every  year  according  to  the  local  price  of  food.  (3)  Equal  wages^ 
for  the  two  sexes,  for  equal  work.  (4)  General,  scientific,  and  professional 
education  of  all  children,  who  should  be  maintained  at  the  cost  of  the  State 
and  the  Communes.  (5)  Maintenance  by  the  Community  of  old  people 
and  disabled  workmen.  (6)  Liability  of  employers  for  accidents.  (7) 
Workmen  to  have  a  voice  as  to  the  special  regulations  of  factories.  (8) 
Revision  of  all  contracts  that  have  alienated  public  property  {e.g.  banks,  rail- 
ways, mines),  and  the  management  of  the  State  workshops  to  be  entrusted 
to  those  working  in  them.  {9)  Abolition  of  indirect  taxes,  and  the  substitu- 
tion of  a  progressive  tax  on  all  incomes  exceeding  3000  frs.  {£^izo). 
Suppression  of  all  hereditary  succession,  except  in  the  direct  line  to  the 
extent  of  20,000  frs.  (;!f8oo).  (10)  Reconstitution  of  Communal  property, 
(li)  Application  by  the  municipalities  of  funds  at  their  disposal  to  the 
construction  on  Communal  lands  of  buildings  of  various  kinds,  such  as 
working  men's  houses,  stores  for  the  deposit  of  goods,  etc.,  to  be  let  to  the 
inhabitants  without  profit  to  the  municipalities." 


(     265     ) 


CHAPTER    XII. 

THE    SOCIALISTS    OF   THE   CHAIR. 

THIS  study  of  contemporary  Socialism  would  not  be  com-  /j,  2, 
plete  without  some  account  of  the  Economists  of  the 
new  school  called  Kaiheder-Socialisten*  or  Socialists  of  the 
Chair.  Like  Socialists,  they  admit,  in  the  first  place,  that  the 
distribution  of  wealth  ought  to  be  regulated  more  than  it  is  by  [j 
principles  of  equity,  and  in  particular  that  the  labourers  ought 
to  receive  a  larger  share  ;  and,  secondly,  that  this  result  cannot 
be  obtained  as  the  effect  of  liberty  and  what  are  called  natural 
laws,  but  only  through  the  action  of  the  legislature  and  the 
State.  If  the  wish  to  see  greater  equality  reign  amongst  men, 
an3^  the  conviction  that  this  ideal  can  only  be  realized  by  the 
intervention  of  the  Legislature  constitute  Socialism,  then  the 
Economists  of  the  new  school  are  Socialists. 

The  Socialists  of  the  Chair  differ  from  the  Economists  of 
the  old  school  in  their  view  of  the  foundation,  the  method,  the 
mission,  and  the  conclusions  of  economic  science. 

Let  us  see  how  they  themselves  explain  the  points  which 
separate  them  from  the  orthodox  doctrine,  j 

*  This  name  was  given  in  Germany  to  the  Economists  of  the  new  school 
by  their  opponents,  and  notably  by  M.  Eras,  because  they  professed,  in  the 
Chairs  of  the  Universities,  doctrines  with  Socialistic  tendencies. 

t  We  shall  here  mainly  follow :  Adolf  Held,  Uebcr  den  gegentvartigen 
Principienstreit  in  der  A'ationalixko7ioiiiie ;  Gustav  Schonberg,  Die  Volks- 
wirthschaffslehre  ;  Gustav  SchmoUer,  Ueber  einige  Griindfragen  dcs  Rechts 
und  der  Volksimrthschaft ;  Contzen,  Die  Aufgabe  der  Vo/kszvirthschafts- 
lehre ;  Wagner,  Die  Sociale  Frage  ;  L.  Luzzatti,  Die  Nationalakonotnischen 
Schtden  Italiens  und  ihre  Cont7-oversen  ;  Vito  Cusumano,  Le  Scuole  econo- 
miche  dclla  Germania ;  Dr.  Moritz  Block,  Die  Quintessenz  der  Katheder- 
socialisinus  ;  Friedrich  von  Boerenbach,  Die  Social  IVisscnschaften  ;  Oppen- 
heim,  Der  A'af/ieder-sociaiis?niis.  Lastly,  an  unpublished  study  of  Professor 
Eheberg,  for  which  I  have  to  thank  him  specially. 


266  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

The  successors  of  Adam  Smith,  such  as  Ricardo,  McCulloch, 
J.  B.  Say,  and  the  whole  "  EngUsh  School,"  followed  the  de- 
ductive method.  This  school  starts  from  certain  views  regarding 
man  and  nature,  which  it  announces  as  axioms,  and  from  which 
it  draws  all  its  conclusions.  Rossi  put  this  method  in  a  clear 
light  when  he  said  that  "  Political  Economy,  in  so  far  as  it  lays 
down  general  propositions,  is  a  science  of  reason  rather  than  a 
science  of  observation.  It  has  for  its  aim  reasoned  knowledge 
of  the  relations  which  flow  from  the  nature  of  things.  ...  It 
seeks  for  its  laws,  while  relying  on  the  general  and  constant 
facts  of  human  nature."  * 

In  this  system,  man  is  treated  as  a  being  who  pursues  at  all 
times  and  places  his  individual  interest.  Actuated  by  this 
motive,  which  is  good  in  itself,  since  it  is  the  principle  of  his 
preservation,  each  man  seeks  what  is  useful  for  himself,  and 
what  this  is  nobody  can  discern  better  than  he.  If,  then,  he  is 
■free  to  do  as  he  chooses,  he  will  succeed  in  procuring  for  him- 
\  self  all  the  happiness  which  it  is  given  him  to  attain.  Hitherto 
the  State  has  always  placed  restrictions  on  the  full  expansion  of 
economic  forces ;  but  remove  these  restrictions,  and,  all  men 
advancing  freely  to  the  pursuit  of  well-being,  the  true  order  will 
be  established  in  the  world.  Universal  competition,  free  from 
restraint,  brings  each  individual  to  the  place  which  suits  him 
best,  and  enables  him  to  obtain  the  appropriate  reward  for  his 
labour.  As  Montesquieu  says,  "it  is  competition  that  fixes  the 
proper  price  of  merchandise."  It  is  the  infallible  regulator  of 
the  industrial  world.  It  is  a  sort  of  providential  law  which 
makes  order  and  justice  reign  in  the  complicated  relations  of 
human  societies.  Let  the  State  refrain  from  all  interference  in 
human  affairs,  let  entire  freedom  be  given  to  property,  capital, 
labour,  trade,  and  callings,  and  the  production  of  wealth  will 
reach  the  highest  pitch,  and  thus  the  general  welfare  will  become 
as  great  as  possible.  The  legislator  should  not  trouble  himself 
about  the  distribution  of  wealth ;  it  will  take  place  conformably 
to  natural  laws  and  to  free  conventions,  A  single  phrase, 
uttered  by  Gournay  in  the  last  century,  sums  up  the  whole 
doctrine  :  Laissez  faire,  laissez  passer. 

*  Cours  d'economie politique.  Lesson  II.,  year  1836. 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  26/ 

With  this  theory,  the  problems  relating  to  the  government 
of  societies  are  wonderfully  simplified.  The  statesman  has 
only  to  fold  his  arms.  The  world  will  go  on  of  itself  to  its 
appointed  end.  It  is  the  optimism  of  Leibnitz  and  of  the 
eighteenth  century  transported  into  Political  Economy.  Rely- 
ing o"n  this  philosophical  doctrine,  Economists  declare  certain 
general  principles  applicable  in  all  times  and  to  all  peoples, 
because  they  are  absolute  truths. 

Political  Economy  was  essentially  cosmopolitan.  It  took 
no  account  of  the  division  of  men  into  separate  nations,  nor  of 
the  diversity  of  interests  that  may  arise  therefrom,  any  more 
than  it  busied  itself  with  the  particular  wants  and  conditions 
resulting  from  the  history  of  the  different  States.  It  saw  only 
the  good  of  humanity  considered  as  one  large  family,  just  as 
every  abstract  science  and  every  universal  religion,  particularly 
Christianity,  had  done. 

Having  thus  expounded  the  old  doctrine,  the  new  Econo- 
mists proceed  to  criticise  it.  They  accuse  it  of  taking  a  one- 
sided view  of  things.  Without  doubt,  they  say,  man  pursues 
his  own  interest,  but  more  than  one  motive  acts  on  his  mind 
and  regulates  his  actions.  By  the  side  of  egoism  there  is  the  ^ 
sentiment  of  collectivity,  the  gememsinn,  the  social  instinct,  | 
which  is  manifested  in  the  formation  of  the  family,  the  Com- 
mune, and  the  State.  Man  is  not  like  the  brute,  that  knows 
only  the  satisfaction  of  its  wants ;  he  is  a  moral  being,  who 
understands  obedience  to  duty,  and  who,  from  his  religious  or 
philosophical  training,  is  often  induced  to  sacrifice  his  satisfac- 
tions, his  welfare,  and  even  his  life,  for  his  country,  for  humanity, 
for  truth,  and  for  God.  It  is,  therefore,  a  mistake  to  base  a 
series  of  deductions  on  the  aphorism  that  man  acts  solely  under 
the  sway  of  a  single  motive,  self-interest.  These  "  general  and 
constant  facts  of  human  nature,"  from  which  Rossi  would 
deduce  economic  laws,  are  imaginary.  In  different  countries, 
at  different  epochs,  men  obey  motives  which  are  not  always  the 
same,  seeing  that  they  spring  from  different  ideas  of  well-being, 
right,  morality,  and  justice.  The  savage  procures  the  where- 
withal to  live  by  hunting  and  devouring,  at  need,  even  his 
fellows ;  the  citizen  of  antiquity,  by  reducing  them  to  slavery, 


\ 


268  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

in  order  to  live  on  the  fruit  of  their  toil;  the  modern  man 
attains  the  same  result  by  paying  them  wages. 

Inasmuch  as,  at  different  stages  of  civilization,  men  have 
different  wants,  different  motives,  and  different  methods 
for  the  production,  distribution,  and  consumption  of  wealth, 
it  follows  that  economic  problems  do  not  admit  of  these 
general  and  a  priori  solutions  which  economic  science  is  called 
upon  to  supply,  and  which  it  has  too  often  ventured  to  offer. 
The  question  must  always  be  examined  relatively  to  a  given 
country,  and  thus  it  is  necessary  to  summon  statistics  and 
history  in  aid  of  Political  Economy.  Hence  the  historical 
and  "  realistic  "  method,  as  the  Katheder-Socialisten  call  it,  that 
is  to  say,  a  method  founded  on  facts.*  Similarly  in  politics, 
it  is  generally  admitted  that  the  question  is,  not  to  discover  an 
ideal  constitution  suitable  to  man  in  the  abstract,  but  the  forms 
of  government  most  in  harmony  with  the  traditions,  the  lights, 
the  temperament,  and  the  wants  of  this  or  that  particular 
country. 

According  to  the  Kat/ieder-Socialisten,  it  is  a  further  mistake 
to  allege,  as  Bastiat  has  done  in  his  "  Harmonies  of  Political 
Economy,"  that  the  general  order  results  from  the  free  play  of 
personal  interests,  and  that  consequently  the  mere  removal  of 
all  fetters  will  suffice  to  distribute  welfare  in  proportion  to  the 
^  efforts  of  each  individual.  Personal  interest  leads  men  to 
iniquity  and  spoliation  ;  it  must,  therefore,  be  restrained  an'd 
not  given  free  scope  :  and  this  is  the  proper  mission,  in  the 
first  place,  of  morality,  and  then  of  the  State,  as  the  organ  of 
justice. 

True,  if  men  were  perfect  and  desired  only  what  is  right, 

! .  liberty  of  itself  would  secure  the  reign  of  order  ;  but,  taking  men 

1 1  as  they  are,  their  unrestrained  self-interests  lead  to  antagonism, 

not  to  harmony.     The  employer  wishes  for  a  fall  in  wages,  the 

workman  for  a  rise.     The  landowner  endeavours  to  raise  the 

rent,  the  farmer  to  get  it  reduced.     Everywhere  the  strongest 

*  Although  in  France  no  new  school  of  economics  has  been  formed  as 
in  Germany,  England,  and  Italy,  yet  many  writers  adopt  the  historical  and 
"  realistic  "  method  with  a  soundness  of  learning  and  a  wealth  of  knowledge 
unsurpassed.  It  will  suffice  to  mention  the  works  of  MM.  Leonce  de 
Lavergne,  Wolowski,  Victor  Bonnet,  and  Paul  Leroy-Beaulieu. 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  269 

or  the  most  dexterous  prevails,  and  in  the  struggle  of  conflicting 
interests,  nobody  troubles  himself  with  the  dictates  of  morality  I 
and  justice.  It  is  precisely  in  England,  where  all  restrictions  I 
have  been  abolished,  and  where  the  most  absolute  industrial 
liberty  reigns,  that  the  war  of  classes,  the  antagonism  of 
masters  and  workmen,  is  seen  in  the  most  glaring  form  and 
under  the  most  alarming  aspect.  It  is  also  in  this  country, 
for  so  long  the  home  of  laissez  faire,  that,  latterly,  the  inter- 
vention of  the  State  has  been  most  frequently  invoked  to 
suppress  the  abuses  of  the  powerful  and  to  protect  the  weak. 
After  having  disarmed  the  central  power,  new  duties  are 
every  day  conferred  upon  it.  Is  not  this  a  proof  that  the 
economic  doctrine  of  absolute  liberty  affords  no  complete 
solution  of  the  problem  ? 

The  new  Economists  do  not  profess  that  horror  of  the  State 
which  led  their  predecessors  to  call  it,  at  one  time,  a  canker, 
at  another  a  necessary  evil.  For  them,  on  the  contrary,  the 
State,  representing  the  best  of  the  nation,  is  the  supreme  organ 
of  right  and  instrument  of  justice.  Emanating  from  the  living 
forces  and  intellectual  aspirations  of  the  country,  it  is  charged 
with  favouring  their  development  in  all  directions.  As  history 
proves,  it  is  the  most  powerful  agent  of  civilization  and  progress. 
The  liberty  of  the  individual  ought  to  be  respected  and  even 
fostered,  but  it  should  be  subordinated  to  the  rules  of  morahty 
and  equity,  and  these  rules,  which  become  more  and  more 
strict  in  proportion  as  men's  ideas  of  the  good  and  the  just 
become  purer,  ought  to  be  enforced  by  the  State. 

Industrial  liberty  is  an  excellent  thing.  Free  trade,  free 
labour,  and  freedom  of  contract  have  largely  contributed  to 
increase  the  production  of  wealth.  All  obstacles  to  liberty,  if 
any  still  exist,  must  therefore  be  overthrown  ;  but  it  is  the 
duty  of  the  State  to  interfere  whenever  the  manifestations  of 
individual  interest  come  into  conflict  with  the  humane  and 
civilizing  mission  of  political  economy  so  as  to  bring  about  the 
oppression  and  degradation  of  the  lower  classes  of  society. 
The  State  has,  therefore,  a  double  mission  :  in  the  first  place, 
to  maintain  liberty  within  the  limits  marked  out  by  law  and 
morality ;  and   secondly,   to  lend  its  assistance  wherever  the 


2/0  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

ultimate  aim,  which  is  social  progress,  can  be  better  attained 
with  such  assistance  than  by  individual  efforts,  whether  it  be 
a  question  of  the  improvement  of  harbours,  the  facilitation  of 
means  of  transport,  the  development  of  education,  the  en- 
couragement of  the  arts  and  sciences,  or  the  promotion  of  any 
other  object  of  general  utility. 

The  intervention  of  the  State  ought  not  to  be  always 
rejected,  as  the  rigid  Economists  wish,  nor  always  admitted,  as 
certain  SociaUsts  demand;  each  case  ought  to  be  separately 
examined,  having  regard  to  the  wants  to  be  satisfied  and  the 
resources  of  private  energy.  Only  it  is  a  mistake  to  suppose 
that  the  role  of  the  State  will  be  curtailed  as  civilization 
advances.  It  is  of  a  different  kind  to-day  from  what  it  was 
under  the  patriarchal  or  despotic  regime,  but  it  is'  ever 
extending  according  as  new  paths  open  out  to  human  actmty, 
and  as  the  appreciation  of  what  is  lawful  and  what  is  not 
becomes  clearer.  This  opinion  has  also  been  expounded  in 
France  with  great  force  by  M.  Dupont-White^  in  his  book 
L'Individu  et  F'Etat. 

The  Katheder-Socialisten  also  blame  orthodox  Economists 

or    confining  themselves  too  exclusively  to  questions  touching 

the   production   of  wealth,   and   for  having  neglected   those 

concerning  its  distribution  and  consumption.      They   assert 

that  the  strict  Economists  have  looked  upon  man  as  a  mere 

productive  force,  without  sufficiently  considering  his  destiny 

and  his  obligations  as  a  moral  and  intelligent  being.     According 

-  to   them,  thanks  to  the  wonders  wrought  by  science,  industry 

could  already  produce  enough  for  all,  if  all  labour  were  usefully 

employed,  and  if  so  many  human  efforts  were  not  wasted  in 

satisfying   spurious   and    even    vicious     desires.      The    great 

problem  of  our  times,  what  is  called  the  social  question^  is 

primarily  a  question  of  distribution. 

The  labouring  classes  wish  to  better  their  lot  and  to  obtain 

'   a  larger  share  of  the  wealth  created  by  the  joint  operation  of 

capital  and  labour.     The  important  point  to  discover  is,  within 

i-what  limits  and  under  what  conditions  this  is  possible.      In 

'tview  of  the  evils  which  disturb  and  threaten  the  social  order, 

three  systems  have  been  proposed:  first,  a  return  to  the  past 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  27 1 

and  the  re-establishment  of  the  ancient  regime;  secondly, 
Sociahsm,  which  looks  for  a  radical  change  of  the  social  order; 
and  lastly,  the  orthodox  economy,  which  believes  that  every- 
thing will  be  set  to  rights  by  means  of  liberty  and  the  action  of 
natural  laws.  According  to  the  Katheder-Socialisten,  none  of 
these  three  systems  will  resolve  the  difficulties  which  trouble 
the  present  epoch.  A  return  to  the  past  is  impossible,  a  general 
and  sudden  modification  of  society  is  equally  impossible,  and 
to  invoke  liberty  is,  on  this  point,  to  cheat  one's  self  with  empty 
words  ;  for  it  is  a  question  of  right,  of  the  statute-book,  and  of 
social  organization.  Distribution  is  effected  not  only  by  virtue 
of  contracts,  which  ought,  of  course,  to  be  free,  but  mainly  by 
virtue  of  the  laws  of  the  State  and  the  moral  sentiments,  of 
which  it  is  necessary  to  estimate  the  influence  "and  judge  the 
equity. 

It  has  been  a  mistake  to  investigate  economical  problems 
from  an  isolated  standpoint ;  they  are  closely  connected  with 
psychology,  religion,  morals,  law,  customs,  and  history.  It  is, 
therefore,  necessary  to  take  all  these  elements  into  account,  and 
not  to  be  contented  with  the  uniform  and  superficial  formula  of 
laissez  faire.  The  class  antagonism,  which  has  been  from  all 
time  at  the  bottom  of  political  revolutions,  reappears  to-day 
with  more  serious  features  than  ever.  It  seems  to  imperil  the  j 
future  of  civilization.  There  is  no  use  in  denying  the  evil ;  it 
is  far  better  to  study  it  under  all  its  forms,  and  to  endeavour  to 
apply  a  remedy  to  it  by  means  of  successive  and  rational 
reforms.  It  is  to  morals,  to  the  sentiment  of  justice,  and  to 
Christian  charity  that  we  must  look  for  inspiration.  Political 
Economy  ought  to  be  an  ethical  science. 

The  Sociahsts  of  the  Chair  difi"er  altogether  from  the  old 
school  in  their  view  of  the  nature  and  limits  of  the  right  of 
property.  The  orthodox  Economists  speak  of  "  property  "  as 
if  it  were  an  absolute  right,  perfectly  defined  and  always  iden- 
tical. The  new  Economists  assert,  on  the  contrary,  that  this 
right  has  assumed  very  different  forms  in  relation  to  the 
modes  of  production  of  each  epoch  ;  that  in  like  manner  it  is 
called  upon  to  undergo  new  changes  ;  that  it  can  never  be 
considered  as   absolute,    since   it   exists  only  ^""^^"geheral 


272  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

interest;  and  that,  consequently,  it  should  be  subjected  to 
such  limitations  and  forms  as  the  progress  of  civilization,  which 
is  the  purpose  of  its  existence,  may  from  time  to  time  require. 

In  short,  while  the  old  Economists,  starting  from  certain 
abstract  principles,  believed  that  they  could  attain,  by  the 
deductive  method,  to  conclusions  of  absolute  truth  and  uni- 
versal application,  the  Katheder-Socialisten,  basing  their  science 
on  the  facts  of  experience,  past  and  present,  draw  from Jh^jn, 
by  the  inductive  and  historical  method,  only  relative  solutions 
which  have  to  be  modified  according  to  the  state  of  society  to 
which  they  are  to  be  applied.  The  former,  convinced  that 
the  natural  order  which  presides  over  physical  phenomena 
must  also  govern  human  societies,  assert  that,  when  all  artificial 
fetters  are  removed,  there  will  result,  from  the  free  play  of 
inclinations,  a  harmony  of  interests,  and  from  the  complete 
I  enfranchisement  of  individuals  a  better  social  organization,  the 
fullest  well-being,  and  the  most  equitable  distribution  of  wealth. 
The  latter  think,  on  the  contrary,  that,  in  the  economic  field  as 
amongst  animals,  in  the  struggle  for  existence  "aiid  in  tKecon- 
[flict  of  selfish  interests,  the  strongest  will  crush  or  exploTl  'the 
i  weakest,  unless  the  State,  as  the  organ  of  justice,  intervene  to 
j  secure  to  each  what  is  his  due.  They  add  that  the  State  ought 
/  fo  contribute  to  the  progress  of  civilization,  and  to  accept,  as 
its  chief  mission,  the  amelioration  of  the  moral,  intellectual,  and 
materiar  condition  of  the  labouring  classes.  Finally,  instead  of 
declaring,  with  the  orthodox  Economists,  that  unlimited  liberty 
is  sufficient  to  put  an  end  to  social  conflicts,  they  assert  that  a 
series  of  reforms  and  improvements,  inspired  by  sentiments  of 
equity,  is  indispensable,  if  we  are  to  escape  from  civil  dissen- 
sions and  from  the  despotism  which  they  inevitably  bring  in 
their  train.  They  admit  that  Socialism  has  rendered  a  real 
service  by  calling  attention  to  the  evils  and  iniquities  of  the 
existing  social  order,  and  by  awakening  in  the  hearts  of  all 
good  men  the  desire  to  apply  a  remedy. 

It  is  especially  in  Germany  that  the  new  school  has 
developed.  The  reason  is  that  Political  Economy  has  been 
there  included  among  the  "  cameralistic  "  sciences,  that  is  to 
say,  those  which  have  the  State  for  their  object.     It  has,  there- 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  2/3 

fore,  never  been  treated  as  an  isolated  branch  of  knowledge, 
regulated  by  special  laws.  Even  the  orthodox  disciples  of  the 
English  school — as,  for  instance,  Rau — have  never  ignored  the 
strict  ties  which  bind  it  to  the  other  social  sciences,  and  notably 
to  politics,  and  they  have  readily  invoked  facts  and  history. 
Ever  since  the  ideas  of  Adam  Smith  and  his  disciples  com- 
menced to  spread  in  Germany,  they  have  met  with  critics  there, 
such  as  Professor  Lueder  and  Count  Soden,  who  regarded  as 
important,  not  the  mere  growth  of  wealth,  but  the  general  pro- 
gress of  civilization.  Next  have  followed  Von  Thiinen,  Adam 
Miiller,  Charles  Bernhardi,  List,  Lorenz  Stein,  Roscher,  Knies, 
Hildebrand,  Hermann,  and  to-day  their  name  is  legion  :  Nasse, 
SchmoUer,  Brentano,  Schoenberg,  Roesler,  Diihring,  Wagner, 
Schasffle,  Cohn,  Von  Scheel,  Samter,  Engel. 

The  principles  of  the  orthodox  economy  have  had  in 
Germany,  as  their  organ  in  point  of  practical  application,  the 
Congress  of  Economists  ( Volkswirthschaftlicher  Congress), 
which  assembles  each  year  in  a  different  town,  and  exercises 
considerable  influence  at  first  on  opinion  and  then  on  legisla- 
tion. Itjs  to  this  influence  that  is  due  the  aboUtion  of  the 
greater  number  of  restrictive  regulations  and,  consequently,  the 
establishment  of  freedom  as  to  professions,  domicil,  loans  at 
interest,  the  subdivision  of  properties,  and  also  the  successive 
custom-house  reforms  in  the  direction  of  free  trade.  Owing  to 
the  scientific  and  technical  knowledge,  widely  spread  by  public 
educational  establishments,  owing  also  to  the  easy  and  abun- 
dant production  of  coal  in  Westphalia,  providing  a  cheap 
motive-power,  tlj^g.  large  system  of  industry  has  taken  such  rapid 
strides,  that  soon  Germany  will  vie  with  France  and  even  wdth 
England.  But,  as  an  inevitable  consequence,  the  labour 
question  is  coming  to  the  front.  We  have  already  seen 
how  Marx  and  Lassalle  caused  the  Socialist  movement  to 
arise  out  of  the  same  economic  conditions. 

One  section  of  the  Economists  have  remained  faithful  to 
the  principle  of  natural  laws  and  non-intervention  of  the  State. 
Others,  on  the  contrary,  were  struck  with  the  contrast  presented 
by  the  extraordinary  increase  of  wealth  side  by  side  with  the 
simultaneous   development   of  the   proletariat.       They   were 

T 


274  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 


\[  finally  persuaded  that  notions  of  morality  and  right  ought  to 
\\  preside  over  the  distribution  of  wealth.  They  gave  up  the 
1 1  belief  that  free  competition,  even  if  pushed  to  its  final  liiKiits 
1 1  and  applied  to  international  trade,  would  suffice  to  establish 
\  amongst  men  a  rational  and  equitable  order.  Without  admit- 
ting the  exaggerations  and  the  conclusions  of  the  Socialists, 
and  especially  their  appeals  to  a  revolution,  they  accepted  the 
principle  which  is  the  foundation  of  the  Socialists'  claims.  In 
c^ceding  that,  "in  the  struggle  for  existence,"  the  free  play  of 
conflicting  interests  does  not  bring  about  a  division  of  wealtH 
conformable  to  justice,  and  does  not  assign  to  the  labourer  d 
reward  proportioned  to  the  part  he  takes  in  production,  they 
were  logically  led  to  call  for  the  action  of  the  State  and  the 
Legislature,  not  exactly  in  the  same  way  as  the  Socialists — in 
order  to  effect  a  radical  change  in  the  civil  laws,  and  especially 
as  regards  the  rights  of  property  and  of  inheritance — but  in 
order  to  protect  the  weak  and  to  fight  against  the  hard  conse- 
quences of  the  new  industrial  regime.  The  opponents  of  the 
new  school  were,  therefore,  not  wrong  in  saying  that  their 
doctrine  was  only  a  timid  Socialism  which  shrank  from  its 
logical  consequences.*  Moreover,  some  of  the  adherents  of 
the  new  doctrine,  and  those  not  the  least  considerable, 
approach  closer  and  closer  to  what  may  be  called  scientific 
Socialism,  as  opposed  to  Utopian  or  revolutionary  Socialism. 
Amongst  these  may  be  mentioned  Adolf  Samter,  Lange, 
Diihring,  Von  Scheel,  Wagner,  Schsefifle,  and,  in  Italy,  Loria. 
It  is  true  that  at  the  other  extremity,  towards  the  right,  are 

*  At  the  Congress  of  the  Socialists  of  the  Chair,  which  met  at  Eisenach 
in   October,  1S75,  one   of  the  professors  whom  I   met   there   told  me  that 
Bismarck  was  also  of  this  opinion.     This  professor  was  a   member  of  a 
deputation  that  went  to  the   Chancellor  to  explain  the  wants  of  the   uni- 
versity.    Prince  Bismarck  received  them  in  the  most  cordial  manner,  and 
invited  them  to  dinner.     Among  the  guests  were  several    "  Excellencies." 
"You  will  allow,"  said  the  Chancellor  to  them,    "that  for  to-day  Science 
takes  precedence  of  everybody.     Monsieur  Professor,  be  so  good  as  to  offer 
j     your  arm  to  Madame  de  Bismarck."  During  the  repast,  he  said  to  Professor 
\    X ,    "  You  are,  I  suppose,  a  Kathcdcr-Socialist .?  "     "  Yes,  your  Excel- 
lency."    "And   why  not  simply   Socialist?     I  too  am  a   Socialist;  but, 
unhappily,  I  have  not  time  to  take  up  the  question.     Certainly,  however, 
:   there  is  much  to  be  done  for  the  labourers."     The  Chancellor  then,  as 

c  Professor  X told  me,  explained  his  ideas  on  the  subject   in   a   few 

*  vigorous  and  fresh  words,  going  to  the  very  root  of  the  social  problem. 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR. 


275 


found  scholars  whose  authority  is  even  less  contested,  such  as 
Roscher,  Nasse,  Conrad,  and  Von  Sybel.  It  is  none  the  less 
true  that  the  members  of  the  new  school  pass  by  insensible 
shades^^z^'//^  descensus  Averni — from  the  borders  of  orthodoxy 
to  the  confines  of  Radical  Socialism. 

The  SociaHsm  of  the  Chair  may  be  said  to  have  taken 
bodily  form,  and  to  have  been  established  as  a  special  doctrine 
in  the  annual  reunions  of  the  Association  for  "  Social  Politics  " 
{Sozial  politik),  the  first  of  which  took  place  on  the  6th  of 
October,  1872.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  say,  however,  that 
similar  ideas  had  been  previously  expressed  in  Germany, 
France,  and  England.  We  may  mention  in  particular  God- 
win's "Political  Justice,"  1793;  Sismondi's  Nouveaux  prin- 
cipeTWTconomie  politique^  1S27  ;  and  his  Etudes  sur  T economic 
politique,  1836;  A.  Buret's  La  Mish'e  des  classes  laborieuses  en 
Fra?ice  et  e}i  Angleterre ;  Lorenz  Stein's  Der  Socialismus  des 
heufigen  Frankreichs,  1842;*  also  the  "  History  of  the  Petty 
Crafts  in  Germany  during  the  Nineteenth  Century,"  f  by 
G.  Schmoller,  Professor  at  the  University  of  Halle,  then  of 
Strasburg,  and  now  of  Berlin,  in  which  book  he  has  well 
brought  out  the  relative  character  of  economic  phenomena; 
and  another  work  by  the  same  author,  in  which,  while  examin- 
ing a  tax  on  income,  he  has  admirably  indicated  the  influence 
of  morals  on  Political  Economy.  Again,  G.  Schonberg,  Pro- 
fessor at  the  University  of  Tiibingen,  in  his  much-discussed 
works  on  the  industrial  regime  in  our  epoch  and  in  the 
Middle  Ages,  J  admitted  the  necessity  of  protective  interven- 

*  I  may  also  mention  an  article  that  I  published  in  1848,  in  a  Belgian 
review,  the  Flandre  Liberate,  in  which  I  came  to  the  conclusions  now 
held  by  the  Extreme  Left  of  the  Socialists  of  the  Chair.  It  is  a  critical 
examination  of  the  letters  then  recently  published  by  Michael  Chevalier 
on  the  organization  of  labour.  M.  Chevalier,  in  order  to  bring  about  the 
solution  of  the  social  question,  recommends  thrift,  property,  and  association. 
I  replied,  "Thrift  is  an  excellent  thing,  but  to  render  it  possible  for  the 
labourer,  there  must  be  a  more  equitable  distribution  of  produce  ;  property 
is  a  still  better  thing,  but  it  must  be  made  universal  ;  association  is  perfect, 
but  it  ought  to  be  based  on  the  recognition  of  the  natural  right  of  appro- 
priation common  to  all."  I  was  inspired  by  the  "Natural  Right"  of 
Ahrens,  by  Fichte's  book  on  the  French  Revolution,  and,  above  all,  by  the 
ideas  of  our  eminent  professor  at  the  University  of  Ghent,  Francois  Huet. 

t  Znr  Geschickte  der  deutschen  Kleingewerbe  im  xixten  yahrhunderte. 

X  Arbeitsainter  and  Deutsche  Zunftwesen  im  Mittelalier,  1868. 


f^l/^') 


*»/.■•<> 


A/ A  tev 


276  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

tion  on  the  part  of  authority.  This  point  of  view  was  further 
developed  with  great  force  by  Adolf  Wagner,  professor  at  the 
University  of  Berlin,  in  his  famous  address  on  the  Social 
Question,*  in  an  article  on  private  property,  and  in  his 
"  Financial  Science."  f  Furthermore,  A.  Rosier,  professor  at 
Rostock,  in  his  critical  works  on  the  fundamental  principles  of 
Adam  Smith ;  Brentano,  professor  at  the  University  of  Breslau, 
and  now  of  Strasburg,  in  his  fine  book  on  the  Working  Men's 
Guilds  of  our  epoch ;  \  Held,  professor  at  Bonn  and  after- 
wards at  Berlin,  in  his  article  on  the  present  conflict  of 
principles  in  Political  Economy  ;  §  and  Engel,  the  eminent 
director  of  the  Bureau  of  Statistics  at  Berlin,  in  an  article  written 
in  1867  on  the  contract  of  hiring  labour,  have  all  admitted 
that  the  notion  of  what  is  just  and  fair  should  preside  over  and 
influence  free  contract.  I  am  citing  only  the  principal  works 
which  prepared  the  way  for  the  new  school.  Afterwards,  when 
these  doctrines  became  the  subjects  of  polemics,  numerous 
publications  appeared  on  both  sides. 

The  idea  of  gathering  together  the  partisans  of  the  new 
Economic  School  in  an  annual  congress  emanated,  it  is  said, 
from  Roscher.  The  session  of  1872  at  Eisenach  was  a  great 
success,  and  excited  considerable  attention.  Besides  the  pro- 
fessors already  named,  the  following  were  to  be  seen  there : — 
Nasse  of  Bonn,  Gneist  of  Berlin,  Knapp  of  Leipzig,  Conrad 
of  Halle,  Hildebrand  of  Jena,  Holtzendorf  of  Berlin,  now  of 
Munich,  Knies  of  Heidelberg,  Neumann  of  Basel,  now  of 
Tiibingen,  and,  in  addition,  a  large  number  of  deputies,  states- 
men, higher  officials,  proprietors,  and  eminent  men.  Professor 
Schmoller,  in  his  opening  address,  freely  admitted  that  there 
was,  in  our  times,  a  social  question.  "  The  marked  division 
of  classes  in  the  midst  of  existing  society,"  he  said,  ''the  open 
war  between  masters  'and  workmen,  between  owners  andjpro- 
letariahs,  and  the  danger,  still  distant  but  threatening  the 
future,   of  a  social  revolution,    have   for  some  years   caused 

*  Die  Sozialc  Frage,  1872. 

t  Raii'sche  Lehrbuch  der  Fmanzwissenschaft,  1870. 

X  Arbeittr  gilden  der  Gegemvart,  187 1. 

§  Gegenwdrtige  Principienstreit  in  der  Nationalcekonoviie. 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  277 

doubts  to  arise  as  to  the  truth  and  definitive  triumph  of  the 
economic  doctrines  represented  by  the  congress  of  Economists  ; 
and  on  all  sides  it  is  questioned  whether  absolute  freedom  of 
labour  and  the  complete  abolition  of  the  antiquated  regulations 
of  the  Middle  Ages  will  bring  about  that  perfectly  happy 
situation  which  the  believers  in  laissez  /aire  have  so  enthusi- 
astically predicted."  While  separating  himself  from  the  old 
optimism  of  the  Manchester  party  {Das  Manchesterthum), 
Schmoller  was  careful  to  show  that  he  did  not  accept  the  con- 
clusions of  the  Socialists.  "ThougF~by  no  means  satisfied," 
he  said,  "  with  existing  social  condTtfohs,  and  convinced  of  the 
necessity  of  reforms,  we  preach  neither  the  upsetting  of  science 
nor  the  overthrow  of  the  existing  social  order,  and  we  protest 
against  all  socialistic  experiments.  All  the  great  advances 
shown  in  history  have  been  the  results  of  the  work  of  ages. 
The  existing  economic  legislation,  the  present  methods  of  pro- 
duction, the  psychological  conditions  of  the  different  classes, 
ought  to  be  the  basis  of  our  reforming  energy.  We  demand 
neither  the  abolition  of  industrial  freedom  nor  the  suppression 
of  the  wage  system;  but  we  do  not  wish,  out  of  respect  for 
abstract  principles,  to  allow  the  most  crying  abuses  to  become 
daily  worse,  and  to  permit  so-called  freedom  of  contract  to 
end  in  the  actual  exploitation  of  the  labourer.  We  do  not 
desire  the  State  to  advance  money  to  working  men  in  order 
that  they  may  make  experiments  on  systems  inevitably  destined 
to  fail,  but  we  demand  that  it  should  concern  itself,  in  an 
altogether  new  spirit,  with  their  instruction  and  training,  and 
should  see  that  labour  is  not  conducted  under  conditions 
which  must  have  for  their  inevitable  effect  the  degradation 
of  the  labourer."  Duriii'g  the  session  of  1872  three  papers 
gave  rise  to  profound  discussions :  one,  by  Brentano,  on 
Factory  Legislation;  a  second,  by  Schmoller,  on  Strikes  and 
Trades  Unions  ;  and  a  third,  by  Engel,  on  Labourers'  Dwellings 
( Wohnungsnoth). 

In  the  session  of  1873  the  Socialists  of  the  Chair  formed 
themselves  definitively  into  an  "Association  for  Social  Politics" 
(  Verehifilr  Sozial politik),  which  has  met,  generally  at  Eisenach, 
almost  every  year  since.     The  way  in  which  the  papers  to  be 


2/8  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

read  at  the  meetings  are  prepared  may  serve  as  an  example 
for  scientific  institutions  of  a  similar  kind.  The  questions  to  be 
treated  are  selected  beforehand,  and  those  who  have  specially- 
studied  them  are  chosen  to  make  reports  upon  them.  Each 
question  gives  rise  to  a  report  and  a  counter-report,  which  form 
complete  works  on  the  subject.  The  association  has,  in  this 
way,  been  able  to  publish  twenty-two  monographs,  which  have 
enriched  economic  literature  with  studies  of  a  permanent  value, 
to  say  nothing  of  the  oral  discussion  and  polemics  to  which 
they  afterwards  gave  rise. 

The  partisans  of  the  classical  doctrines  did  not  treat  the 
innovators  tenderly.  They  reproached  them  with  not  appre- 
ciating the  pure  truth  of  the  science  which  they  were  called  to 
profess,  and  with  separating  themselves  from  radical  Socialism 
only  by  reservations  which  their  principles  did  not  justify. 
Political  Economy,  by  deducing  its  propositions  from  certain 
axioms,  and  maintaining  that  order  results  spontaneously  from 
the  free  action  of  natural  laws,  enabled  a  very  clear  and  simple 
science  to  be  formed  without  any  great  effort,  and  one  which 
solved  all  difficulties  by  the  uniform  receipt  of  laissez  faire. 
The  new  school,  on  the  other  hand,  admitting  only  relative 
solutions,  and  such  as  are  justified  by  the  study  of  history  and 
statistics,  required  wide  research.  It  is  easy  to  understand 
that  the  orthodox,  disturbed  in  the  peaceful  possession  of  what 
they  had  asserted  to  be  absolute  truths,  would  be  very  much 
irritated  with  the  heretics.  The  conflict  still  continues ;  but  it 
may  safely  be  said  that,  except  in  France,  the  Socialism  of  the 
chair  is  almost  everywhere  predominant  to-day. 

The  doctrines  of  the  new  school  have  lately  been  expounded 
in  a  masterly  work,  published  under  the  direction  of  "Herr 
Gustav  Schonberg,  and  entitled  Hmidhich  der  politiscjien 
CEconomi'e  ("Ma.xmal  of  Political  Economy").  It  is  a  collective 
work,  in  which  each  of  the  different  subjects  is  treated  by  some 
Economist  of  repute  who  has  made  it  his  special  study.  In 
order  to  properly  understand  the  ideas  of  the  heretics,  it  is 
necessary  to  read  also  a  pamphlet  *  by  Professor  Schmoller 

*    Ueber  eim'ge  Grtmdfragen  des  Rechts  tuid  der  Volksivi rthschaft  ("  On 
Certain  Fundamental  Questions  of  Law  and  Political  Economy  "). 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  279 

which  is  a  sort  of  programme,  pubhshed  in  reply  to  the  attacks 
of  Deputy  Professor  Treitschke ;  also  an  outline  of  the  course 
of  lectures  of  Professor  Adolf  Held,  so  prematurely  and  in  so 
tragic  a  manner  lost  to  science ;  and  finally,  the  great  work  of 
Professor  Adolf  Wagner,  Lehrbiich  der  politischeii  (Ekonomie.,  of 
which  a  single  octavo  volume  of  775  pages,  devoted  to  the 
exposition  of  principles  {Grundlegung),  has  appeared.  The 
three  concluding  chapters  treat  economic  problems  from  the 
juridical  side.  The  titles  they  bear  indicate  their  importance  : 
"  Economic  Organization,"  "  The  State  and  its  Economic  In- 
fluence," "  Law  considered  in  so  far  as  it  regulates  Economic 
Relations." 

Wagner  considers,  in  the  first  place,  man  seeking  to  satisfy 
his  wants  by  means  of  labour.  But  man  lives  in  society,  and 
society  cannot  exist  unless  the  State  preserves  order  therein, 
and  establishes  a  juridical  basis  for  the  mutual  relations  of 
men.  This  juridical  basis  is  the  civil  law,  from  which  results 
the  economic  organization  of  society.  The  old  Economists 
strongly  protest  against  all  artificial  organizations.  They 
seem  to  forget  that  the  law  which  rules  us  is  the  result  of  a 
reasoned  elaboration  of  the  primitive  Roman  law,  developed 
during  a  thousand  years,  by  successive  generations  of  juris- 
consults. The  so-called  natural  order  of  which  they  are  always 
speaking,  so  far  from  being  the  effect  of  nature,  is  the  result 
of  human,  and  consequently  artificial,  laws. 

According  to  Professor  Wagner,  the  economic  development 
of  a  people  depends  in  part  on  the  progress  of  the  technical 
processes  of  the  different  industries,  and  in  part  on  the  state  of 
the  laws  which  serve  as  the  basis  and  measure  of  the  economic 
activity  of  individuals.  The  great  juridical  institutions,  the 
influence  of  which  in  political  economy  it  is  necessary  to  study, 
are,  says  the  learned  professor  of  Berlin,  individual  liberty, 
property,  and  the  right  of  contract,  hereditary  succession,  and 
the  consideration  due  to  vested  rights.  The  principles  accord- 
ing to  which  these  institutions  are  regulated  are  not  immutable  ; 
they  have  given  way  to  transformations  and  historical  develop- 
ments. Changes  in  technical  processes  lead  almost  always  to 
a  change  in  juridical  institutions;  thus  the  development  of 


280  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

trade  has  produced  an  entirely  new  industrial  law.  In  the 
same  way,  modifications  of  the  law  produce  modifications  in 
the  processes ;  so  that  Signor  Minghetti  could  say  with  truth 
that  every  great  period  of  economic  progress  rests  on  a  corre- 
sponding juridical  system. 

In  a  profound  study  on  Liberty  and  Property,  Professor 
Wagner  shows  the  decisive  influence  exercised  on  the  produc- 
tion of  wealth,  and  to  a  still  greater  degree  on  its  distribution  by 
the  different  forms  with  which  history  has  successively  clothed 
these  two  rights.  We  may  thus  see  the  intimate  relations  which 
bind  Political  Economy  to  law,  especially  in  the  details  of  the 
different  agrarian  systems  in  operation  in  different  countries 
and  at  different  periods.  Professor  Wagner  here  brings  out  an 
essential  truth,  too  often  forgotten,  namely,  that  property^ is  not 
a  right  presenting  always  identical,  and,  so  to  speak,  necessary 
characteristics.  It  has  varied  at  all  times,  according  to  the 
social  surroundings  in  the  midst  of  which  it  is  recognized^, 
according  to  the  processes  of  labour  in  vogue,  and  even  accord- 
ing to  the  objects  to  which  it  is  applied.*  So  long  as  men  live 
on  the  produce  of  the  chase  or  their  flocks,  and  even  so  long  as 
agriculture  is  essentially  "extensive,"  the  soil  belongs  in  common 
to  the  whole  tribe.  In  proportion  as  methods  of  cultivation 
improve,  become  more  "  intensive,"  and  consequently  require 
the  employment  of  more  capital,  and  as,  at  the  same  time, 
cattle  occupy  a  smaller  place  in  the  rural  economy  and  meat  in 
food,  private  property  successively  extends  until  it  swallows  up 
altogether  the  communal  property  of  the  villages,  both  pasture 
and  forest,  and  thus  leaves  nothing  for  the  collective  use.  The 
benefice,  the  fief,  the  mensal  lands  of  the  Church,  the  domain 
of  the  convents,  the  holdings  of  the  coloni,  the  possessions 
subject  to  mortmain,  property  under  all  its  forms,  in  the  feudal 
system,  had  a  precarious  character,  either  for  life  or  at  least 
in   some   way   limited,  which   radically  distinguishes   it   from 


*  I  have  myself  endeavoured  to  demonstrate  this  fact  in  my  book,  La 
Propriete  et  ses  formes  primitives.  Adolf  Samter,  a  banker  of  Kbnigsberg, 
who  found  time  to  write  some  excellent  books,  expounds  similar  ideas  in 
a  work  recently  published  under  the  title  Frivat-Eigentlmm  tind  gesell- 
schaftliches  Eigenthtim  ("  Private  Property  and  Social  Property"). 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  28 1 

the  absolute  and  exclusive  quiritarian  ownership  adopted  by 
modern  law. 

Property  in  articles  of  consumption  is  quite  a  different  thing 
from  property  in  instruments  of  production.  To  the  latter  ought 
to  be  applied  in  all  its  force  the  reservation  imposed,  even  by  the 
Roman  law,  on  the  right  of  using  and  abusing  {Jus  utendi  et 
abutendi  re  sud,  quateniis  juris  ratio  patitur),  in  so  far,  that  is  to 
.  say,  as  is  permitted  by  the  very  considerations  which  originated 
the  right,  namely,  considerations  of  general  utility.  While  as 
far  as  articles  of  consumption  are  concerned,  the  old  regula- 
tions, such  as  the  imposition  of  sumptuary  laws  and  restrictions 
as  to  dress  and  the  fixing  of  prices  by  authority  have  dis- 
appeared, limitations  set  to  the  free  use  of  immovable  property 
tend  to  multiply  and  become  more  strict.  Thus,  more  and 
more  stringent  laws  are  everywhere  made  concerning  the  clear- 
ing of  woods,  the  employment  of  machines,  the  using  of  rivers, 
the  organization  of  labour  in  factories.  In  towns,  proprietors 
are  not  allowed  to  build  until  their  plans  have  been  approved 
by  authority ;  they  may  be  compelled  to  pull  down  buildings 
pronounced  dangerous  to  life  or  health,  and  they  are  not  allowed 
to  carry  on  any  trade  which  is  a  nuisance  to  their  neighbours. 
Property  in  mines  is  subjected  to  still  more  numerous  restric- 
tions. Finally,  owners  are  expropriated,  not  only  for  works  of 
public  utility,  but  even,  as  in  the  expropriation  by  means  of  the 
taxation  of  districts,  in  order  to  permit  the  Commune  or  the 
State  to  cover  the  cost  of  an  improvement.  These  are  some 
applications  of  the  Roman  formula,  Quafenus  juris  ratio 
patitur. 

The  Economists  of  the  new  school  are  far  from  holding  the 
same  opinions  on  all  subjects.  On  the  contrary,  they  are  much 
more  divided  among  themselves  than  the  classical  Economists, 
for  the  very  reason  that  they  reject  the  uniform  creed  as  to 
natural  laws  and  universal  laissez  /aire.  Thus,  Adolf  Wagner 
calls  for  limitations  on  private  ownership,  and  an  extension  of 
collective  ownership  that  few  of  his  colleagues  accept.  In  the 
session  at  Bremen,  when  the  resumption  of  the  railways  by  the 
State  was  discussed,  A.  Wagner  and  A.  Held  declared  in  favour 
of  it,  Nasse  and  Brentano  against  it. 


282  THE  SOCIALISM  OF  TO-DAY. 

Schmoller  advocates  a  system  of  corporations  of  working 
men  that  many  of  the  others  attack.    Two  points,  however,  are 
to  be  found  in  the  programmes  of  all :  first,  the  increased  inter- 
f  vention  of  the  law  or  of  the   State  in  the  economic  world; 
{  secondly,  the  intellectual  and  material  elevation  of  the  labour- 
I  ing  classes.     "  When   men   of  science,"  Held   truly  remarks, 
*  "  concern  themselves  warmly  and  in  an  entirely  disinterested 
way  wnth  the  good  of  the  labourers,  ought  not  their  action  to  be 
taken  in  good  part,  especially  in  the  face  of  the  indifference  or 
even  hostility  of  public  opinion?     It  is  too  common  for  the 
privileged  classes  to  consider  the  labourers  as  born  to  serv^ 
them,  and  to  nourish  in  their  hearts  the  sentiments  of  the" 
Brahmin  towards  the  Pariah.     From  want  of  thought  and  from 
never  trying  to  look  at  the  matter  from  the  labourer's  stand- 
point, employers  are  apt  to  be  hard  and  unjust.     Have  we  not 
done  a  useful  thing  in  showing  that  there  is  nothing  immoral 
nor  revolutionary  in  the  desire  of  the  labourers  to  get  an  increase 
of  wages  and  a  diminution  of  the  working  hours  ?  " 

At  the  opening  of  the  session  of  October,  1882,  Professor 
Nasse,  an  Economist  whose  learning  and  moderation  are 
recognized  throughout  the  scientific  world,  sums  up  the  work 
of  the  new  school  in  the  following  terms  : — "  Ten  years  have 
passed  away  since  the  'Association  for  Social  Politics'  assembled 
for  the  first  time  at  Eisenach,  in  order  to  devote  itself  to  the 
study  of  the  social  question.  Its  object  was  to  oppose  the 
tendencies  which  had  theretofore  prevailed,  in  the  press  and  in 
public  opinion,  on  economic  subjects.  The  formation  of  our 
Association  was  a  protest  against  that  narrow  individualism 
which  thinks  that  the  most  difficult  problems  of  economic 
legislation  may  be  solved  by  simply  invoking  the  most  complete 
freedom  of  action  to  individual  interests,  and  which  ignores  the 
mission  of  moral  culture  incumbent  on  the  State  in  the  region 
of  Political  Economy.  The  Association  was  specially  directed 
against  that  optimism  which  shuts  its  eyes  to  the  urgent  necessity 
of  examining  this  formidable  problem  known  as  the  social  ques- 
tion. It  was  an  appeal  and  a  warning  which  issued  from  the 
juridical  and  moral  conscience  of  almost  all  Germany,  and  whicK, 
I  think  I  may  safely  assert,  has  completely  modified  the  ten- 


THE  SOCIALISTS  OF  THE   CHAIR.  283 

dencies  of  public  opinion.  The  change  has,  indeed,  been  so  /i.^,Q2 
profound  that  many  of  those  who  had  risen  up  to  fight  the 
exclusive  theory  of  the  entirely  beneficent  action  of  competi- 
tion now  feel  obliged  to  attack  the  confidence,  which  is 
becoming  more  and  more  widespread,  in  the  omnipotence  of 
legislation  and  the  State." 

The  new  school  is  called  to  render  great  services.  Neither 
the  classical  economy  nor  Socialism  can  serve  as  guide  in  the 
difficult  work  of  bettering  the  condition  of  the  labouring  classes, 
and  in  gradually  introducing  a  more  equitable  distribution  of 
wealth.  On  the  one  hand,  the  orthodox  economy,  by  persuad- 
ing the  ruling  and  well-to-do  classes  that  the  existing  social  order 
is  as  perfect  as  it  can  be,  and  that  in  any  case  unrestricted  liberty- 
will  answer  every  need,  gives  them  ground  for  denying  that  there 
is  any  social  question,  and  induces  them  to  reject  as  chimerical 
all  aspirations  towards  a  regime  more  conformable  to  justice. 
On  The"  other  hand,  the  scientific  Socialism  of  St.  Simon,  of 
Marx,  and  of  Lassalle  has  clearly  pointed  out  the  evils  of 
modern  society  and  the  feebleness  of  all  attempts  at  disputing 
their  reality ;  but  when,  going  beyond  criticism,  these  Socialists 
give  utterance  to  their  views  of  reform  and  reconstruction,  they 
fail,  because  they  do  not  take  sufficient  account  of  the  teachings 
of  history  and  the  innate  sentiments  of  humanity.  Seeing  in 
existing  society  nothing  but  evil,  they  are  blindly  optimistic  as 
to  the  future.  They  do  not  sufficiently  realize  that,  in  order  to 
arrive  at  a  better  order  of  things,  the  men  who  are  called  to 
establish  and  maintain  it  must  themselves  be  made  better,  and 
that  the  first  step  is  to  purify  and  elevate  current  ideas  as  to 
duty  and  right.  This  is  a  work  of  long  dm'ation,  reserved  for 
the  Socialism  of  the  Chair.  It  will  undertake  it,  armed  with  an 
accurate  knowledge  of  the  facts  proved  by  history  and  statistics, 
and  animated  with  the  desire  to  aid  in  establishing  amongst 
men  that  reign  of  justice  and  that  kingdom  of  God,  of  which 
Plato  caught  a  glimpse,  and  which  the  prophets  of  Israel  and 
Jesus  have  announced  to  the  world. 


SOCIALISM    IN   EISIGLAND. 


BY 


GODDARD    H.  ORPEN 


hJ^.^^  ( 


1 


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SOCIALISM    IN    ENGLAND. 


For  good  or  for  evil,  England  no  longer  enjoys  an  immunity  P.  ;v5^ 
from  Socialism  or  socialistic  propaganda.  I  do  not  allude  to 
what  has  been  called  the  socialistic  tendency  of  recent  legisla- 
tion,* important  as  that  tendency  is  as  showing  the  growing 
confidence  of  democracy  in  officialism.  I  allude  to  more  active 
and  further  reaching,  if  for  the  moment  less  effective,  socialistic 
movements.  There  is,  in  the  first  place,  the  movement  for  the 
"  Nationalization  of  the  Land,"  which  has  recently  received  a 
great  impetus  from  the  writings  of  Mr.  Henry  George.  Secondly, 
there  is  the  movement  of  "  Christian  Socialism,"  which  is  to-day 
advancing  far  beyond  what  Maurice  and  Kingsley,  who  were  the 
first  to  call  themselves  Christian  Socialists,  ever  had  in  view. 
Finally,  there  is  the  out-and-out  Collectivist  agitation  conducted 
by  the  members  of  the  Social  Democratic  Federation,  who  may 
be  looked  upon  as  the  disciples  of  Karl  Marx  in  England,  f 
There  are,  no  doubt,  some  individual  Anarchists  in  this  country, 
but  they  are  not  an  organized  body.     There  is  every  reason  to 

*  Mr.  Herbert  Spencer,  the  great  apostle  of  Individualism,  has  recently ' 
inveighed  against  this  tendency  in  articles  in  the  monthly  reviews  on  the 
"  New  Toryism,"  the  "Coming  Slavery,"  etc.  These  articles  have  been 
collected  and  published  as  a  book  :  "The  Man  versus  the  State"  (1884).  ;; 
A  society  also  has  been  formed,  called  the  Liberty  and  Property  Defence 
League,  "for  resisting  over-legislation,  for  maintaining  freedom  of  con- 
tract, and  for  advocating  Individualism  as  opposed  to  Socialism,  entirely 
irrespective  of  party  politics."     Central  offices,  4,  Westminster  Chambers. 

t  Miss  Eleanor  Marx,  one  of  the  daughters  of  Karl  Marx,  is  a  prominent 
member  of  the  Federation.  She  contributes  to  I'o-day,  its  monthly 
magazine,  a  "Record  of  the  International  Popular  Movement," 


288  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

suppose  that  the  explosions  of  dynamite  which  have  recently 
occurred  in  England  were  the  work  of  Irish- American  Revolu- 
tionists, who  are  actuated  by  a  special  hatred  of  England  and 
English  rule  in  Ireland,  and  not  by  any  general  anarchic  idea 
such  as  was  preached  by  Bakunin  throughout  Southern  Europe. 
Of  Anarchism  in  England,  therefore,  I  happily  have  no  occasion 
to  speak  ;  but  I  propose  to  give  an  account  of  the  present  aims 
and  positions  of  the  three  socialistic  movements  to  which  I  have 
made  allusion. 

The  idea  of  land  nationalization  as  a  remedy  for  some  of  the 
evils  of  modern  times  is  not  a  new  one.  According  to  the  late 
Mr.^Arnold  Toynbee,  it  originated  with  James  Mill,  who  was 
led  to  it  by  his  observations  on  the  systems  of  land  tenure  and 
revenue  in  India ;  but  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  the  idea 
is  much  older.*  As  a  practical  proposal,  land  nationalization 
in  a  modified  form  first  attracted  attention  when  put  forward,  in 
1870,  by  the  Laud  Tenure  Reform  Association,  of  which  John 
Stuart  Mill  was  the  moving  spirit.  The  fourth  article  of  the 
programme  of  this  Association  was  as  follows  : — 

"  To  claim,  for  the  benefit  of  the  State,  the  interception  by  taxation  of 
the  future  unearned  increase  of  the  rent  of  land  (so  far  as  the  same  can  be 
ascertained),  or  a  great  part  of  that  increase,  which  is  continually  taking 
place,  without  any  effort  or  outlay  by  the  proprietors,  merely  through  the 
growth  of  population  and  wealth  ;  reserving  to  owners  the  option  of 
relinquishing  their  property  to  the  State  at  the  market  value  which  it  may 
have  acquired  at  the  time  when  this  principle  may  be  adopted  by  the 
Legislature." 

Mill  defended  this  special  taxation  of  land  mainly  on  the 
ground  that  land  is  a  natural  monopoly ;  that  in  every  pros- 
perous community,  quite  apart  from  any  efforts  of  the  owners, 
it  tends  to  rise  in  value ;  and  that  this  rise  in  value,  being  due 
to  the  community,  ought  to  accrue  to  the  community.  The 
Association  did  not,  however,  propose  to  disturb  landowTiers  in 
their  past  acquisitions,  but  only  to  tax  future  unearned  increases 

*  Mr.  Hyndman  ("Historical  Basis  of  Socialism,"  p.  448)  mentions  a 
pamphlet  by  Thomas  Spence,  of  Newcastle,  published  a  hundred  years  ago, 
which  formulated  a  complete  scheme  of  land  nationalization  by  the  action  of 
parishes  and  municipalities. 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  289 

of  rent,  and  it  offered  to  any  landowner,  who  might  prefer  to 
relinquish  his  land,  its  full  selling  value.     This  would  still  be 
advantageous  to  the  nation,  "  since  an  individual  never  gives, 
in  present  money,  for  a  remote  profit,  anything  like  what  that 
profit  is  worth  to  the  State,  which  is  immortal."  *     Whatever 
may  be  thought  of  the  practicability  of  this  proposal,  it  is  not 
nearly  so  open  to  the  charge  of  injustice  as  most  of  the  schemes 
of  land  nationalization  which  are  propounded  to-day.     All  that 
can  be  said  against  it  is,  that  unearned  increment  is  not  a 
peculiarity  of  property  in  land  :  it  occurs,  for  instance,  in  rail- 
way shares,  which  often  increase  in  value  solely  "  through  the 
growth  of  population  and  wealth."     We  hear  little,  however, 
about  this  particular  proposal  to-day,  partly  because  far  more 
drastic   measures  are  being  pressed  upon  our  attention,  and 
partly,    perhaps,    because   agricultural   land   in    England   has 
recently  been  falling  in  value — receiving,  in  fact,  an  unearned 
decrement — and  its  early  recovery  is  a  matter  of  doubt. 

The  publication  of  "  Progress  and  Poverty,"  early  in  1881, 
gave  a  great  impetus  to  the  land  nationalization  movement. 
Its^author,  Henry  George,f  was  born  at  Philadelphia,  on  the 
2nd  of  September,  1839,  of  American  parents.  His  father 
was  desirous  of  giving  him  a  thorough  education,  but  the  lad 
was  self-willed  and  preferred  to  study  in  his  own  way.  "  They 
teach  nothing  at  the  Academy  that  I  don't  know  or  think  I 
know  already,"  he  said,  and  accordingly  he  Avas  not  sent  to 
school  after  his  twelfth  year.  When  he  was  sixteen  he  went  as 
cabin  boy  in  a  sailing-ship  to  India,  because  "  he  had  read  so 
much  about  that  unhappy  country  "  and  wished  to  investigate  for 
himself  the  state  of  affairs  there.  For  some  years  he  led  a  roving 
life  without  any  settled  employment.  In  1858  he  worked  his 
way  on  a  merchant-vessel  to  San  Francisco,  and  spent  the  next 
three  years  in  unsuccessful  mining  enterprises.  Finally,  in  1861, 
he  settled  down  in  San  Francisco,  where  he  was  successively 

*  See  J.  S.  Mill's  papers  on  Land  Tenure  in  the  fourth  volume  of  his 
"Dissertations  and  Discussions." 

t  I  have  gleaned  most  of  these  biographical  facts  from  a  recently- 
published  sketch  of  Mr.  George's  life  by  Mr.  Henry  Rose,  editor  of  the 
Hull  Express. 

U 


290  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

connected  with  more  than  one  newspaper,  first  as  a  compositor 
and  afterwards  as  managing  editor.* 

As  early  as  1869  Mr.  George  made  the  land  question  his 
special  study,  and  in  187 1  he  published  a  pamphlet  entitled 
"  Our  Land  and  Land  Policy."  Many  of  his  peculiar  economic 
theories— those,  for  instance,  on  the  laws  of  wages,  interest,  and 
population — are,  perhaps,  largely  due  to  a  hasty  generalization 
from  what  he  saw  going  on  in  California,  where  there  was 
originally  fertile  and  even  gold-producing  land  to  spare,  but 
where  small  settlements  were  rapidly  developing  into  towns  and 
cities,  and  "  the  tramp  was  appearing  with  the  locomotive."  In 
1878  a  minor  official  position  gave  him  leisure  to  develop  his 
theories  in  his  great  work,  "  Progress  and  Poverty."  In  October, 
1 88 1,  Mr.  George  came  to  this  country  as  correspondent  of 
the  Irish  World,  a  paper  which  represents  the  revolutionary 
Separatists  among  the  Irish-Americans.  In  June,  1882,  he 
lectured  in  the  Rotunda,  Dublin,  on  the  Irish  Land  Question ; 
but  as  he  advocated  the  abolition  of  private  property  in  land 
as  opposed  to  a  peasant  proprietary,  the  aim  of  the  Land 
Leaguers,  he  did  not  succeed  in  making  many  converts.  Early 
in  the  present  year  (1884)  Mr.  George  again  visited  England  in 
order  to  undertake  a  lecturing  campaign  under  the  auspices  of 
the  Land  Reform  Union.  A  large  meeting  was  held  in  St. 
James's  Hall,  London,  on  the  9th  of  January,  when  the  chair 
was  taken  by  Mr.  Labouchere,  M.P.  Mr.  George  also  addressed 
meetings  in  Plymouth,  Birmingham,  Liverpool,  Glasgow,  Edin- 
burgh, Leeds,  Oxford,  Cambridge,  and  other  places ;  but  although 
he  frequently  carried  his  audience  with  him,  the  lecturing  tour 


*  About  this  time  (1865)  Mr.  George  drew  up  a  set  of  rules  for  his 
future  conduct  in  the  form  of  a  little  essay,  which  is  published  by  his  admiring 
biographer  as  "  throwing  so  much  light  "  on  the  character  and  career  of 
his  hero.  In  it  he  says: — "I. am  constantly  longing  for  vyealth.  .  .  . 
"Wealth  would  bring  me  comforts  and  luxuries  which  I  cannot  now  obtain  ; 
it  would  give  me  more  congenial  employments  and  associates  ;  it  would 
enable  me  to  cultivate  my  mind,  and  exert  to  a  fuller  extent  my  powers  ;  it 
•would  give  me  the  ability  to  minister  to  the  comfort  and  enjoyment  of  those 
whom  I  love  most;  and  therefore  it  is  my  principal  object  in  life  to  obtain 
wealth,  or  at  least  more  of  it  than  I  have  at  present."  He  then  expresses 
disgust  at  the  little  progress  he  has  made  in  the  past  towards  attaining  this 
end,  and  makes  the  good  resolution  to  amend  his  ways  in  the  future. 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  29 1 

excited  less  attention  than  might  have  been  expected,  and  was 
a  financial  failure. . 

Mr.  George's  book,  however,  has  been  an  undoubted  success.  |; 
Its  author  appears  as  the  prophet  of  a  new  revelation.     His  1 
calrh  assumption  of  infallibility,  his  brilliant  bursts  of  eloquence,  t 
his  keen  sympathy  for  the  poor,  his  religious  fervour,  and  the  ' 
very  audacity  of  his  proposal  are  exceedingly  attractive  to  many 
minds.     The  book,  too,  is  one  which  can  be  read  by  the  people. 
They  may  not  follow  all  Mr.  George's  scientific  or  unscientific 
analyses,  but  they  are  touched  by  his  moral  enthusiasm  and 
burning   eloquence,    and   they   can    appreciate   the   apparent 
simplTcity  of  his  proposal.     For  he  is  not  over-revolutionary. 
He  does  not  propose,  as  the  Socialists  do,  to  overthrow  the 
existing  order  of  society.     He  is    not,  properly  speaking,   a 
Socialist  at  all.    Who  would  not  welcome  his  "  simple  yet  sove- 
reign remedy  "  if,  as  he  says,  it  "  will  raise  wages,  increase  the 
earnings  of  capital,  extirpate  pauperism,  abolish  poverty,  give 
remunerative  employment  to   whoever  wishes  it,  afford  free 
scope  to  human  powers,  lessen  crime,  elevate  morals,  and  taste, 
and  intelligence,  purify  government,  and  carry  civilization  to 
yet  nobler  heights  "  ? 

Mr.  George  proposes  "to  seek  the  law  which  associates 
poverty  with  progress,  and  increases  want  with  advancing 
wealth."  Even  in  thus  stating  his  problem,  Mr.  George  begs 
an  important  question.  Poverty  persists  indeed,  but,  according 
to  all  the  best  statistical  authorities,  it  is  diminishing.  Mr. 
Giififerij  for  instance,  the  president  of  the  Statistical  Society, 
comparing  the  present  time  with  fifty  years  ago,  calculates  that ' 
the  workman  now  gets  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  per  cent,  more 
mOney-wages  for  twenty  per  cent,  less  work,*  while,  with  the 
exception  of  meat  and  house-rent,  the  main  items  in  his 
expenditure  have  decreased.  The  inference  that  the  working 
classes  are  much  better  off  is,  he  says,  "  fully  supported  by 
statistics  showing  a  decline  in  the  rate  of  mortality,  an  increase 
of  the  consumption  of  articles  in  general  use,  an  improvement 
in  general  education,  a  diminution  of  crime  and  pauperism,  a 
vast  increase  of  the  number  of  depositors  in  savings  banks,  and 
*  See  his  Inaugural  Address  to  the  Statistical  Society  (1883). 


292  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

other  evidences  of  general  well-being.     Finally,  the  increase  of 
the  return  to  capital  has  not  been  in  any  way  in  proportion,  the 
yield  on  the  same  amount  of  capital  being  less  than  it  was,  and 
the  capital  itself  being  more  diffused,  while  the  remuneration 
of  labour  has  enormously  increased."     It  is  quite  true,  however, 
I  that  a  vast  amount  of  want  and  misery  exists  side  by  side  with 
I  a  general  increase  in  well-being.     We  have  not  to  do  merely 
with  averages,  important  as  they  undoubtedly  are  as  showing 
the  general   tendency.     As  long   as  there  are  two   or  three 
millions  of  people  in  extreme  want,  it  is  poor  satisfaction  to 
think  that  vast  numbers  of  other  people  have  more  than  they 
quite  know  what  to  do  with.     This  inequality  of  wealth,  even 
if  diminishing,  is  certainly  large  enough  to  constitute  a  great 
social  evil.     What  is  its  cause,  and  what  is  its  remedy?     If 
Mr.  George  has  really  answered  these  questions,  he  has  done 
a  great  service  to  humanity. 

To   put   his  answer  shortly,   Mr.   George   finds   that  rent 
swallows  up  the  whole  benefit  of  increased  production  in  every 
progressive  community,  while  the  returns  to  labour  and  capital 
are  stationary  or  even  diminishing.     His  remedy  is  to  make 
li  land  common  property,  and  his  mode  of  applying  the  remedy 
jl  is  to  confiscate  rent  by  taxation.     By  rent,  Mr.  George  means 
f  the  whole  annual  value  of  land,  less  "  the  clearly  distinguishable 
improvements  made  within  a  moderate  period."     It  appears, 
then,  that  the  working  man  has  been  making  a  mistake  in 
supposing    that    "his  master   is  the  enemy,"   or  at  least  in 
thinking  that  it  is  his  employer  who,  in  the  shape  of  profits, 
gets  the  lion's  share  of  the  produce.     Of  the  three  elements 
into  which  profits  are  divisible — compensation  for  risk,  wages 
of  superintendence,  and  return  for  the  use  of  capital— the  first, 
according  to  Mr.  George,  need  not  be  considered  in  deter- 
mining the  law  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  as  risk  is  elimi- 
nated in  the  totality  of  transactions  ;  the  second  is  rightly  called 
"  wages,"  and  should,  he  thinks,  be  classed  with  the  wages  of 
the  ordinary  labourer ;  while  the  return  for  the  use  of  capital 
is  interest  which,  according  to  Mr.  George,  is  likewise  reducible 
to  the  law  of  wsges,  rising  and  falling  with  the  rise  and  fall  of 
wages.    Hence  Mr.  George  concludes  that  the  primary  division 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  293 

of  wealth  is  dual,  not  tripartite ;  capital  is  but  a  form  of  labour, 
and  the  law  to  be  sought  is  the  law  which  divides  the  produce 
between  rent  and  wages.  Accepting  Ricardo's  law  of  rent,  Mr. 
George  finds  as  a  corollary  that  wages  also  depend  on  the 
margin  of  cultivation,  but  inversely  to  rent,  so  that,  as  the 
margin  of  cultivation  lowers,  rent  rises  and  wages  fall.  Finally,  \ 
he  finds  that  increase  in  population,  improvements  in  the  arts, 
— everything,  in  short,  that  augments  the  productive  power  of 
labour — tends  to  advance  rent  and  not  to  advance  wages. 
Hence  it  appears  that  the  employer,  whether  capitalist  or  not,' 
and  the  labourer  are  not  the  real  antagonists,  but  factory  lord 
and  factory  hand  are  both  ground  down  by  the  common  enemy 
of  mankind,  the  landowner. 

It  is  unnecessary  to  expose  the  long  chain  of  fallacies  by 
which  Mr.  George  arrives  at  this  surprising  result.  The  critics 
of  his  book  have  been  sufficiently  numerous.  M.  de  Laveleye 
has  made  some  remarks  upon  it  in  a  former  chapter,  and  a 
more  detailed  criticism  by  the  same  writer  will  be  found  in  the 
Co?itemporary  Revieiu  for  November,  1882.  Mr.  John  Rae's 
recent  work  on  "  Contemporary  Socialism  "  comprises  a  long 
chapter  vigorously  criticising  "  Progress  and  Poverty."  Mr. 
Mallock  has  also  entered  the  lists  against  the  prophet  of  San 
Francisco.*  His  other  critics  include  the  Duke  of  Argyle, 
Lord  Bramwell,  Professor  Fawcett,  Mr.  Frederic  Harrison,  the 
late  Mr.  Arnold  Toynbee,  and  his  fellow-countryman,  Professor 
F.  Walker.  Mr.  George's  last  book,  "  Social  Problems,"  per- 
haps because  it  has  less  pretensions  to  the  character  of  a 
scientific  work,  is,  in  the  main,  less  unsatisfactory  and  more 
suggestive  than  its  more  ambitious  predecessor.  It  is  worth 
noting,  however,  that  Mr.  George  is  advancing  in  revolutionary 
ideas.  He  now  apparently  advocates  the  repudiation  of 
public  debts,  as  resting,  like  private  property  in  land,  "on 
the  preposterous  assumption  that  one  generation  may  bind 
another."  f 

Before  noticing  the  societies  which  have  been  formed  for 
carrying  out  Mr.  George's  ideas,  it  will  be  convenient  to  give 

*  See  his  "Property  and  Progress,"  ch.  i.  (Murray,  London,  1884). 
t  "  Social  Problems,"  p.  154  (Kegan  Paul,  1S84). 


294  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

an  account  of  the  rival  scheme  of  land  nationalization  proposed 
by  Mr.  Alfred  Russel  Wallace,  the  celebrated  naturalist. 

In  1882  Mr.  Wallace  published  his  book,  "  Land  Nation- 
;  alization ;  its  necessity  and  its  aims,"  with  the  object  of  showing 
I  that  "a  properly  guarded  system  of  Occupying  Ownership  under 

1 1  the  State"  would  afford  a  complete  remedy  for  the  evils  of 
landlordism,  and  of  explaining  how  the  change  may  be  prac- 
tically effected  "  with  no  real  injury  to  existing  landowners," 
and  "  without  producing  any  one  of  the  evil  results  generally 
thought  to  be  inseparable  from  a  system  of  land  nationalization." 
In  the  earlier  chapters  of  his  book  Mr.  Wallace  discusses  the 
causes  of  poverty  in  the  midst  of  wealth,  and  illustrates  the 
evils  resulting    from   Irish,   English,   and   Scotch  landlordism 

%  mainly  by  quotations  or  compilations  from  well-known  writers. 
He  then  contrasts  the  system  of  Occupying  Ownership  wrth 
that  of  Landlordism,  and  endeavours  to  show  that  "just  in  pro- 
portion as  the  cultivator  of  land  has  a,  permanent  interest  in  it, 
is  he  well  off,  happy,  and  contented."     Mr.  Wallace's  method 
is  an  induction  from  facts,  but  he  claims  the  support  of  Mr. 
George's  deductive  reasoning,  which,  he  says,  is  "  founded  on 
the  admitted  principles  of  Political  Economy,  and  the  general 
facts  of  social  and  industrial  development."     Finally,  in  his 
last  chapter,   after  maintaining  that  Free  Trade  in  land,  as 
advocated  by  many  English  Liberals,  would  merely  have  the 
effect  of  increasing  the  large  estates  and  intensifying  the  evils 
of  Landlordism,  Mr.  Wallace  propounds  his  own  solution  of 
the  question,  which  may  be  summarized  as  follows  : — The  State 
must  be  the  sole  owner  of  the  land.     The  tenants  under  the 
State  must  have  a  permanent  tenure,  and  must  be  subject  to  no 
restrictions  as  to  cultivating,  selling,  or  transferring  their  holdings; 
but  sub-letting  must  be  absolutely  prohibited,  and  mortgages 
strictly  limited.    The  ownership  of  the  State  is  not  to  be  merely 
nominal,  as  in  England  to-day,  but  is  to  involve  the  receipt 
of  a  perpetual  quit-rent  in  respect  of  the  inherent  value  of  the 
land.     The  amount  of  this  quit-rent  will  be  determined  in  the 
following  way  : — An  elaborate  valuation  of  every  separate  plot 
of  land  in  the  United  Kingdom  will  have  to  be  made,  and  the 
annual  or  rental  value  so  fixed  must  be  divided  into  two  parts, 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  295 

the  one  representing  the  "  inherent  value,"  which  would  depend 
on  natural  conditions,  means  of  communication,  nearness  to 
markets,  etc.,  and  the  other  consisting  of  the  "  additional  value  " 
given  to  the  land  by  landlords  and  occupiers,  such  as  build- 
ings, fences,  and  permanent  improvements.  The  former  part 
will  be  the  "  quit-rent  •"'  henceforth  payable  to  the  State,  and 
will  be  liable  to  periodic  revision ;  the  latter  will  be  the  annual 
value  of  the  "  tenant-right,"  as  Mr.  Wallace  calls  it,  which  is 
always  to  remain  the  property  of  the  future  holder  of  the  land. 

As  in  future  no  sub-letting  will  be  allowed,  the  "  tenant- 
right  "  of  all  lands  not  in  the  actual  occupation  of  the  present 
landlords  will  have  to  be  sold.  The  present  tenants  will  have 
a  right  of  pre-emption,  and,  in  the  absence  of  agreement  with 
the  present  landlords,  the  amount  to  be  paid  will  be  fixed 
by  local  Land  Courts.  When  required,  this  sum  will  be 
advanced  to  the  tenant  by  authorized  Loan  Societies  or  muni- 
cipal authorities,  to  be  repaid  by  means  of  terminable  rent- 
charges.  Once  the  "  tenant-right "  has  been  thus  purchased, 
the  purchaser  will  become  the  tenant  of  the  State,  subject 
to  the  quit-rent,  and  the  "  tenant-right "  will  thenceforth  be 
freely  saleable. 

Mr.  Wallace  differs  from  most  other  modern  advocates  of 
land  nationalization  in  admitting  that  "  existing  landowners 
and  their  expectant  heirs  must  be  compensated."  *  This,  hfe 
thinks,  may  be  fairly  and  adequately  done  by  the  State  securing 
to  the  existing  landowner  and  "  to  any  heir  or  heirs  of  his  who 
may  be  living  at  the  passing  of  the  Act,  or  who  may  be  born  at 
any  time  before  the  decease  of  the  said  owner,"  an  annuity 
equivalent  to  the  annual  value  of  the  portion  of  his  property 
appropriated  by  the  State,  t  This  proposal  evidently  springs 
from  a  sense  of  justice  in  Mr.  Wallace  which  is  lacking  in  Mr. 

*  Nevertheless,  Miss  Helen  Taylor  finds  it  compatible  with  her  sense  of 
consistency  to  take  an  active  part  both  in  the  Society  formed  for  advo- 
cating Mr.  Wallace's  views  and  in  that  which  owes  its  inspiration  to  the 
writings  of  Henry  George.  She  is  also  on  the  committee  of  the  Social 
Democratic  Federation. 

t  In  the  programme  of  the  Land  Nationalization  Society  the  annuity  is 
restricted  to  the  landlord  and  "  such  of  his  heirs  as  may  have  been  alive  at 
the  passing  of  the  Act." 


296  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

George,  who,  starting  from  the  premiss  that  landlords  are 
robbers,  does  not  see  why  they  should  be  compensated  for 
being  deprived  of  their  powers  to  rob.  The  only  sound 
principle,  hoAvever,  is  that  acknowledged  by  J.  S.  Mill,  who, 
when  advocating  a  radical  change  in  the  Irish  Land  Laws, 
said  :  "  Existing  pecuniary  interests  which  have  the  sanction  of 
law  ought  to  be  respected.  An  equivalent  ought  to  be  given 
for  the  bare  pecuniary  value  of  all  mischievous  rights  which 
landlords  or  any  others  are  required  to  part  with."  Mr. 
Wallace,  indeed,  labours  hard  to  prove  that,  with  the  compen- 
sation he  proposes,  his  scheme  would  do  no  injury  to  existing 
landlords.  But  no  amount  of  ingenuity  can  make  out  that  the 
ownership  of  an  annuity  of  ^100  for  one,  two,  or  three  lives  is 
of  the  same  pecuniary  value  as  the  ownership  in  fee  of  land 
producing  a  net  annual  income  of  ;^ioo.  The  practical 
difference  would  be  that  the  owner  of  the  annuity,  if  he  were  a 
prudent  man,  would  capitalize  a  portion  of  it,  and  in  this  way 
his  net  available  income  would  be  diminished.  | 

Mr.  Wallace  does  not  propose  that  any  limit  should  be 
placed  to  the  amount  of  land  which  an  individual  may  hold, 
thinking  that  the  prohibition  of  sub-letting  would  render  all 
other  legislative  restriction  unnecessary.  One  of  his  most 
distinguished  disciples.  Professor  F.  W.  Newman,  however, 
would  render  it  illegal  for  any  one  person  to  hold  more  than 
five  hundred  acres.  This  modern  Gracchus  is  somewhat  less 
tender  than  Mr.  Wallace  with  regard  to  vested  interests.  He 
compares  Mr.  Wallace's  proposal  to  the,  Sibyl's  offer  to  King 
Tarquin.  If  not  listened  to,  less  favourable  terms  will  be 
offered  next  time. 

The  most  original  and  characteristic  part  of  Mr.  Wallace's 
scheme  is  that  by  which  he  proposes  to  remedy  the  overpopu- 
lation of  towns,  and  draw  back  the  people  to  the  country,  by 
offering  to  every  one  a  free  choice  of  cheap  land.  "  Every 
Englishman,"  he  says,  "should  be  allowed  otice  in  his  life  to 
select  a  plot  of  land  for  his  personal  occupation.  His  right  of 
choice  will,  of  course,  be  limited  to  agricultural  or  waste  land  ; 
it  will  also  be  limited  to  land  bordered  by  public  roads 
affording  access  to  it ;  it  will  further  be  limited  to  a  quantity  of 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  297 

not  less  than  one  acre  or  more  than  five  acres,  and  will  cease 
on  any  estate  from  which  a  fixed  proportion,  say  ten  per  cent, 
of  the  whole,  has  been  taken,  while  it  should  not  apply  at  all 
to  very  small  holdings ;  and  finally,  it  will  be  limited  by 
proximity  to  the  dwelling  of  the  occupier  of  the  land,  so  as  to 
subject  him  to  no  unnecessary  annoyance."  All  questions 
arising  out  of  this  curious,  but  in  many  ways  attractive,  scheme 
(and  they  would  be  numerous)  would  be  settled  by  local 
courts  of  the  same  character  as  the  Sub-Commissions  under  the 
Irish  Land  Act.  Mr.  Wallace  calculates  that  perhaps,  as  a 
maximum,  one  and  a  half  million  families  would  take  advantage 
of  this  right  of  pre-emption,  to  the  extent  of  three  million  acres, 
or  one-tenth  of  the  whole  agricultural  land  of  the  country, 
within  the  first  ten  years. 

A  society  called  the  "  Land  Nationalization  Society  "  has 
been  formed  under  the  presidency  of  Mr.  Wallace,  with  the 
object  of  carrying  out  his  scheme.  In  his  address  at  the  third 
annual  meeting  of  this  Society,  held  in  June,  1884,  Mr. 
Wallace  maintained  that  Mr.  George's  remedy — the  appropria- 
tion of  the  whole  ground-rent  for  common  purposes — would 
not  have  the  effect  of  redressing  the  fundamental  wrong,  the 
monopoly  of  land  by  the  few,  nor  of  securing  the  fundamental 
necessity,  free  access  for  all  to  the  land.  "  It  would  not,"  he 
said  "  give  the  labourers  land,  and  therefore  would  not  raise 
wages.  It  would  tend,  on  the  contrary,  to  intensify  the 
monopoly  of  land,  because  the  landlords,  possessing  the  houses 
and  other  improvements  as  well  as  the  land,  would  raise  the 
price  of  these  improvements  to  recover  what  they  had  lost  in 
taxation.  And  this  could  not  be  prevented,  because  the 
owners  of  a  necessary  of  life  are  masters  of  the  situation,  and 
can  command  any  prices  which  those  who  must  have  these 
necessaries  are  able  to  pay.  It  is,  therefore,  absolutely  im- 
possible that  such  a  course  as  Mr.  George  proposes  should 
produce  any  good  whatever." 

Mr.  Wallace's  Society  has  lost  some  of  its  most  energetic 
members,  who  were  unable  "  to  concur  with  its  consideration 
to  landlords  or  other  principles."  These  seceders,  early  m 
1883,   formed  the   "Land  Reform  Union,"  a  society  already 


298  SOCIALISM  IM  ENGLAND. 

mentioned  as  having  organized  Mr.  George's  lecturing  cam- 
paign. This  society,  which  has  lately  taken  the  name  of  the 
"  Enghsh  Land  Restoration  League,"  derives  its  inspiration 
from  "Progress  and  Poverty."  It  has  at  present  only  two 
branches  actually  formed,  one  at  Plymouth,  and  one  in  the 
borough  of  Finsbury  (London) ;  but  Mr.  Verinder,  the  secre- 
tary of  the  League,  informs  me  that  "  arrangements  are  nearly 
completed  for  branches  in  Carlisle,  and  among  the  English  and 
American  residents  in  Paris."  He  further  says  that  kindred 
Leagues,  not  actually  branches,  exist  at  Hull,  Birmingham, 
Leeds,  etc.  This  League  differs  from  Mr.  Wallace's  Society  on 
the  question  of  compensation,  by  declaring  that  it  "  cannot 
tolerate  the  idea  that  the  people  of  England  shall  be  compelled 
to  buy  back  the  land  which  is  theirs  by  natural  right,  or^  to 
compensate  those  who  now  appropriate  their  earnings  for  the 
loss  of  power  to  appropriate  those  earnings  in  future."  Fol- 
lowing Mr.  George,  it  proposes  "  to  increase  taxation  on  land 
until  the  whole  annual  value  is  taken  for  the  public  benefit." 

A  "  Scottish  Land  Restoration  League "  has  also  been 
formed  in  the  present  year  on  similar  lines  to  its  English 
sister.  Both  Leagues  seem  to  be  influenced  by  the  Christian 
Socialist  movement;  but  what  in  the  English  programme 
appears  as  an  abstract  right,  is  called  in  the  Scotch  manifesto 
"  a  gift  fresh  from  the  Creator  to  each  generation  whom  He 
calls  into  being."  The  Scotch  manifesto,  too,  magnariimously 
says  that  it  will  not  raise  the  question  of  how  much  compensa- 
tion the  landlords  should  pay  to  those  who  have  been  for  so 
long  "unjustly  disinherited." 

An  attempt  has  been  made  to  form  a  similar  League  in 
Ireland,  at  Belfast,  and  Mr.  Michael  Davitt,  the  original 
founder  of  the  Land  League,  though  he  does  not  appear  to  have 
connected  himself  with  the  "Irish  Land  Restoration  Society," 
has  long  been  known  to  advocate  the  socialistic  system  as 
opposed  to  the  "  reactionary  views  "  of  Mr.  Parnell,  who  has 
always  aimed  at  the  establishment  of  a  peasant  proprietary. 
There  are  not  wanting  some  signs  of  a  split  on  this  question 
among  the  Irish  agrarian  reformers,  but  Mr.  Parnell  has  the 
farmers  with  him  almost  to  a  man.     They  want  to  get  their 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  299 

holdings  for  nothing,  and  have  no  idea  of  virtually  paying  rent 
to  the  State — not  even  to  an  Irish  Republic — in  aid  of,  or  in 
substitution  for,  the  general  taxation  of  the  community.  It  is 
just  possible  that  the  labourers,  who  are  beginning  to  find  out 
thaflhey  have  gained  no  benefit  from  the  recent  agrarian 
legislation,  and  who  assert  with  truth  that  the  farmers  are  far 
har(5ef "masters  than  the  landlords,  may  be  led  to  adopt  the 
SocTalistic  programme;  but  their  present  ideal  is  a  better 
cottagV  and  a  plot  of  land.  When  they  get  the  franchise  they 
may  make  their  voices  better  heard;  but  they  lack  "the 
sinews  of  war,"  an  essential  for  any  successful  agitation  in 
Ireland. 

Indeed,  neither  farmers  nor  agricultural  labourers  in  any  of 
the  three  countries  are  likely  to  swell  the  cry  for  land  nationali- 
zation. In  Scotland,  the  country  perhaps  most  favourable 
to  it,  the  Highland  Land  Law  Reform  Association,  which 
lately  (September,  1884)  held  a  gathering  of  the  clans  at 
Dingwall,  on  behalf  of  the  unfortunate  Highland  Crofters,  is 
a  far  more  influential  organization  than  the  Scottish  Land 
Restoration  League.  Its  programme,  however,  is  not  socialistic 
in  any  proper  sense  of  the  term.  It^  merely  asks  for  a  law, 
somewhat  similar  to  the  Irish  Land  Act,  to  enable  the  Crofters 
to  recover  rights  which  they  have  but  recently  lost.  Radical 
changes  in  the  English  Land  Laws  are  pretty  widely  desired, 
but  there  is  great  divergence  of  opinion  as  to  the  direction 
which  the  particular  changes  should  take.  In  1882  the 
Trades  Union  Congress  passed  a  resolution  in  favour  of  land 
nationalization,  but  this  resolution  was  rescinded  last  year  at 
Nottingham  ;  and  this  year  the  congress  at  Aberdeen,  while 
calling  for  a  measure  which  would  "  provide  for  greater  security 
of  tenure,  compensation  for  improvements,  and  bringing  the 
land  within  the  reach  of  the  people,"  rejected  an  amendment 
intended  to  embody  the  principle  of  land  nationalization.  The 
Co-operative  Congresses  have  given  no  encouragement  to  any 
scheme  which  does  not  embody  the  principle  of  compensation. 
Indeed,  the  question  of  compensation  gives  rise  to  an  awkward 
dilemma  :  Without  compensation,  nationalization  of  the  larid  is 
flagrantly  unjust  and  quite  hopeless ;  with  compensation,   its 


300 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 


benefits  are  remote  and  doubtful.  Of  course,  this  does  not 
apply  to  the  case  of  new  countries  making  grants  of  land  in  the 
first  instance.  It  certainly  seems  desirable  that  our  colonies, 
for  example,  should  not  part  with  the  fee  simple  of  their  lands, 
and  the  Land  Nationalization  movement,  which  is  active  in 
New  Zealand  and  New  South  Wales,  is  more  likely  to  succeed 
with  them  than  with  us.  There  is  much  to  be  said,  too,  in 
favour  of  the  "  municipalization  "  of  lands  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  growing  towns,  where  the  unearned  increment  is  often 
enormous,  and  where  it  is  particularly  important  not  to  allow 
private  rights  to  grow  up  which  interfere  with  the  good  of  the 
community.  Into  this  question,  however,  I  cannot  now  enter, 
but  must  pass  on  to  the  second  socialistic  movement  which  I 
propose  to  consider. 

Christian  Socialism  may  be  said  to  have  originated  in 
England  in  1848,  when  Charles  Kingsley,  Frederick  Denison 
Maurice,  Tom  Hughes,  Mr.  Ludlow,  and  some  others  started 
the  Christian  Socialist  newspaper,  issued  a  series  of  tracts, 
and  formed  a  society  for  promoting  co-operative  associations. 
The  leaders  of  the  movement  do  not  appear  to  have  been 
influenced  by  the  writings  of  Lammenais,  who  was  one  of  the 
first  Christian  Socialists  of  modern  times,  and  whose  burning 
denunciations  of  the  capitalistic  system  have  never  been  sur- 
'  passed  ;  still  less  can  they  be  connected  wdth  the  Utopian 
Reformers,  such  as  Cabet  and  St.  Simon.  The  idea  of  intro- 
ducing Christianity  as  an  active  factor  and  guiding  principle  in 
business  life,  appears  to  have  suggested  itself  spontaneously  to 
an  earnest  band  of  noble-minded  and  unselfish  churchmen,  as 
a  means  of  coping  with  the  wide-spread  distress  and  discontent 
which  existed  in  England  at  the  time,  and  which  had  raised  a 
threatening  voice  in  the  Chartist  agitation.  They  had  no 
definite  socialistic  scheme  in  view,  but  they  were  profoundly 
impressed  with  the  evils  of  unrestricted  competition,  and 
dreaded  above  all  things  the  ascendency  of  the  Manchester 
School  with — to  use  Kingsley's  extravagant  language — its 
"  narrow,  conceited,  hypocritical,  anarchic,  and  atheistic 
scheme  of  the  universe."  "  I  do  not  see  my  way  further  than 
this,"  said  Maurice;  "competition  is  put  forth  as  the  law  of  the 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  3OI 

universe.  That  is  a  lie.  The  time  has  come  for  us  to  declare 
that  it  is  a  lie  by  word  and  deed.  I  see  no  way  but  associating 
for  work  instead  of  for  strikes."  "  It  is  my  belief,"  said 
Kingsle)^  "  that  not  self-interest  but  self-sacrifice  is  the  only 
law  upon  which  human  society  can  be  grounded  with  any  hope 
of  prosperity  and  permanence." 

They  differed  from  Socialists  generally  in  that  they  did  not 
look  to  the  State  for  the  regeneration  of  the  social  system. 
Maurice,  indeed,  had  a   theory   that  the   State  could  not  be 
communistic,   but  was    "by  nature    and   law  conservative   of 
individual  rights  and  individual  possessions,"  and  that  it  was 
only  by  accident,  as  it  were,  and  by  going  out  of  its  own  more 
peculiar  sphere,  that  it  was  compelled  to   recognize  another 
principle,    as   in   the  case  of  the  factory  children ;  while  the 
Church,  on  the  other  hand,  was  "  communistic  in  principle,  and 
conservative  of  property  and  individual  rights  only  by  accident, 
bound  to  recognize  them,  but  not  as  its  own  special  work."     In 
the  union  of  Church  and  State,  accordingly,  Maurice  saw  the 
true~lusion  of  the  principles  of  communism  and  of  property. 
It  i¥true  that  Kingsley  publicly  called  himself  a  Chartist,  and 
in  one  of  his  letters,  written  under  the  famous  pseudonym  of 
"  Parson  Lot,"  said  that  his  only  quarrel  with  the  Charter  was 
that  it  did  not  go  far  enough  in  reform  ;   but  he  immediately 
explained  his  meaning  by  adding  that  the  mistake  the  Chartists 
made  was  in  fancying  that  legislative  reform  was  social  reform, 
and  that  men's  hearts  could  be  changed  by  Act  of  Parliament. 
At  the  time,  he  was,  perhaps,  prepared  to  grant  all  the  points  of 
the  Charter,  but  neither  then  nor  afterwards  was  it  to  political 
action  that  either  he  or  any  of  those  who  worked  with  him 
looked   for   the  salvation  of  the  labourers.     They  sought  no 
State-aid  for   their   co-operative   societies,   but  merely  a  fair 
field.     Even  private  individuals  could  do  little.     They  might 
"boycott"    the     slop-shops    which    adopted    the    "sweating 
system  ; "  they  might  encourage  the  growth  of  associations  and 
deal  exclusively  with  them  ;  the  rich  might  even  provide  healthy 
workshops  at  a  low,  fair  rent ;  but,  in  the  main,  the  workers  must 
fight  their  own  battle,  aided  only  by  "  Him  whose  everlasting 
Fatherhood  is  the  sole  ground  of  all  human  brotherhood." 


302  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

The  connection  between  the  Christian  SociaHst  efforts  of 
Maurice  and  Kingsley  and  their  friends,  and  the  co-operative 
movement  out  of  which  the  present  co-operative  organization 
has  grown  up,  is  very  candidly  stated  by  Mr.  E.  V.  Neale,  who 
was  concerned  in  the  Christian  Sociahst  movement  of  1848,  and 
is  now  the  venerable  general  secretary  of  the  Co-operative  Union. 
In  a  letter  published  by  Professor  R.  T.  Ely,*  Mr.  Neale  says 
that  the  two  movements  were  "independent  of  each  other  in 
their  origin,  though  they  have  subsequently,  to  a  certain  extent 
coalesced."  The  Rochdale  Pioneers,  who  gave  the  first 
impulse  to  the  distributive  societies  in  1844,  were  Owenite 
rather  than  Christian,  and  it  was  not  until  the  beginning  of  1850 
that  the  "  Society  for  promoting  Working  Men's  Associations  " 
was  started  in  London  under  the  presidency  of  Mr.  Maurice. 
Most  of  the  societies  formed  under  the  special  influence  of  the 
Christian  Socialists  in  London  failed  from  one  cause  or  another, 
and,  as  Mr.  Neale  says,  "  had  it  not  been  for  the  growth  of 
distributive  co-operation  in  the  north,  the  movement  would 
have  been  at  an  end  in  England."  The  efforts  of  the  Christian 
Socialists  were,  however,  not  without  fruit.  It  was  mainly 
through  their  instrumentality  that  a  most  desirable  change  in 
the  law  as  to  Industrial  and  Provident  societies  was  effected 
in  1852,  and  when  the  first  steps  towards  the  present  organi- 
zation had  been  taken,  the  influence  of  Maurice  and  Kingsley 
was  undoubtedly  felt  in  the  moral  and  broadly  Christian  tone 
infused  throughout  the  movement. f 

The  Christian  Socialists  of  to-day  in  England  maintain  that 
they  are  but  carrying  out  the  teachings  of  Maurice  and  Kings- 
ley,  though  the  more  advanced  add  that  they  are  doing  so  in 
the  light  of  the  economic  investigations  of  Karl  Marx,  LassalTe, 
and  Henry  George.  Many  of  them  are  far  more  radical  in 
their  aims  than  their  Continental  namesakes,  whether  of  the 
school  of  Bishop  Ketteler  or  of  that  of  Dr.  Stocker,  The  most 
extreme  section  is  represented  by  the  "Guild  of  St.  Matthew," 

*  See  his  "French  and  German  Socialism  in  modern  times"  (1883), 
p.  2^2. 

t  See  the  "Manual  for  Co-operators,"  edited  by  Thomas  Hughes,  Q.C., 
and  E.  V.  Neale,  and  published  for  the  Central  Co-operative  Board. 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND.  303 

a  society  which  was  started  some  seven  years  ago  for  the  purpose 
of  making  the  Church  a  more  Hving  and  potent  force  among 
tlie  people.  In  a  letter  which  I  have  recently  received  from 
the  Rev.  Stewart  D.  Headlam,  who  is  the  warden  of  the  Guild, 
he  says  :— "  Our  position  towards  Maurice  and  Kingsley  is  that 
of  enthusiastic  disciples.  We  know  that  some  of  their  experi- 
ments were  failures,  but  we  think  we  are  carrying  out  their 
principles  more  faithfully  than  those  who  merely  go  in  for 
co-operation."  While  disclaiming  any  authority  to  speak  for 
Christian  Socialists  generally,  Mr.  Headlam  continues  : — 

"  Roughly  speaking,  I  should  say  that  a  Christian  Socialist  believes 
that  the  Church — the  whole  body  of  the  Baptized — is  intended  to  be  an 
organized  Society  for  the  promotion  of  righteousness,  and  that  when  the 
officers  and  members  recognize  that,  the  distribution  of  wealth  will  be 
absolutely  different  from  what  it  is  at  present.  Meanwhile,  believing  in  the 
State  as  also  a  sacred  institution,  we  use  all  our  efforts  to  get  such  laws 
made  as  will  tend  to  bring  about  a  better  distribution:  e.g.  to  get  rid  of 
private  property  in  land,  eventually ;  at  once  to  re-impose  the  four-shilling 
tax  on  present  value,  and  claim  all  unearned  increment ;  progressive  income- 
tax  ;  free  schools  with  free  dinners,  etc.  We  show  to  all  Christians  who 
would  '  suffer  '  by  these  measures  that  they  are  really  measures  to  help  them 
to  live  the  life  of  brotherhood,  which,  in  the  present  complicated  state  of 
'  civilization,'  it  is  very  difficult  for  them  to  do,  even  if  they  wish  to  do  so  ; 
for  we  believe  that  all  little  societies,  whether  Co-operative  or  Communistic, 
are  really  only  helping  themselves  at  the  cost  of  those  outside,  while  the 
present  anarchy  lasts.  ...  I  always  find  that  the  first  thing  wanted  is  to 
convince  an  ordinary  Christian  that  Jesus  Christ  was  a  secular  worker,  and 
that  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven  of  which  He  spoke  meant  the  Church  on 
earth.  If  you  can  once  get  rid  of  the  '  other  worldliness  '  which  forms  the 
religion  of  so  many  people,  half — more  than  half — the  battle  is  won.' 

*'  In  accordance  with  this  view,  Mr.  Headlam  delivered  a  lecture  before 
a  branch  of  the  Secular  Society  (published  as  a  pamphlet  :  "The  Secular 
work  of  Jesus  Christ,  His  Apostles,  and  the  Church  of  England"),  empha- 
sizing the  Secular  side  of  the  reported  sayings  and  doings  of  Jesus,  mini- 
mizing the  supernatural  element  in  the  miracles,  which  indeed  he  seems  to 
assimilate  to  the  triumphs  of  science  over  nature,  and  maintaining  that  the 
Church — or  at  any  rate  the  Guild  of  St.  Matthew — and  the  Secular  Society 
are  working  towards  the  same  end  :  the  good  of  humanity  in  this  world. 
At  the  same  time,  the  Guild  is  what  is  called  "High  Church,"  and  not 
"  Broad  Church."  Mr.  Headlam's  readiness  to  see  the  good  (as  he  under- 
stands it)  in  persons  from  whom  he  differs  fundamentally  on  theological 
points,  his  fearless  denunciation  of  the  Blasphemy  Laws,  and  his  staunch 
advocacy  of  the  removal  of  "  the  last  remaining  religious  disability,"  the 
Parliamentary  Oath,  are  worthy  of  all  praise. 


304  SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 

Mr.  Headlam  has  evidently  discovered  what  M.  de  Laveleye 
has  so  well  pointed  out,  that  Christianity,  though  containing 
in  itself  the  germs  of  socialistic  ideas,  by  inculcating  patience 
and  submission,  and  by  pointing  to  a  recompense  beyond  the 
tomb,  is,  as  usually  taught,  antagonistic  to  the  full  flowering  of 
Socialism.  He,  however,  instead  of  endeavouring  to  eradicate 
the  religious  sentiment  after  the  manner  of  the  revolutionary 
Socialists,  tries  to  arouse  "  divine  discontent "  by  secularizing 
Christianity. 

The  advanced  Christian  Socialists  call  for  the  Disestablish- 
ment of  the  Church,  and  its  organization  on  a  democratic  basis. 
They  think  that  their  principles  would  gain  wide  acceptance 
among  the  new  ministers  thus  appointed.  They  believe  that 
in  the  doctrines  and  traditions  of  the  Church,  properly  inter- 
preted, they  possess  a  lever  to  move  the  minds  of  the  faithful 
such  as  the  Secularists  with  their  "dismal  creed"  can  never 
obtain ;  they  confidently  look  forward  to  such  a  religious  re- 
vival, imbued  with  the  new  social  ethics — to  such  a  develop- 
ment of  what  Mr.  George  calls  a  "  deep,  definite,  intense 
religious  faith,  so  clear,  so  burning,  as  utterly  to  melt  away  the 
thought  of  self" — that  the  question  of  the  reconstruction  of 
society  on  socialistic  lines  will  ere  long  accomplish  itself  with- 
out the  necessity  of  any  physical  compulsion;  and  they  are 
not  without  hope  that  even  the  stony  hearts  of  many  land- 
lords and  capitalists  will  be  so  softened  by  the  potent  solvent 
of  neo-Christian  charity,  that  they  will  be  ready  ^to  surrender  all 
their  goods  to  feed  the  poor. 

As  I  have  already  mentioned,  the  Christian  Socialists  of  "  the 
extreme  left  "  entirely  accept  the  teaching  of  Mr.  George  as  to 
Land  Nationalization,  and  reject  the  idea,  that  the  landowners 
have  any  just  claim  to  compensation.  They  say,  indeed, 
that  the  principle  of  taxing  land  up  to  the  full  annual  value, 
though  pushed  on  as  rapidly  as  may  be,  will  inevitably  be  so 
gradually  applied,  that  the  hardship  on  individual  landowners 
will  not  be  so  great  as  might  at  first  sight  appear ;  but  they  do 
not  shrink  from  answering  the  question  of  compensation  frankly 
in  the  negative,  and  they  even  retort  the  charge  of  confiscation 
and  robbery  on  the  landowners.     To  those  who  use  the  argu- 


SOCIALISM  IN  ENGLAND. 


305 


merit  that  the  rights  of  landlords  and  capitalists,  however 
mischievous  they  may  be,  have  had  the  sanction  of  the  law  and, 
at  least  prior  to  the  dawn  of  the  social  revolution,  of  public 
opinion,  and  that  therefore  the  possessors  of  these  rights  should 
not  be  treated  as  robbers,  and  be  deprived  of  their  legal 
property  without  compensation,  the  Christian  Socialists  reply 
by  quoting  the  precedent  of  Jesus  driving  the  hucksters  and 
money-changers  out  of  the  Temple,  where  their  presence  had 
received  the  sanction  of  the  religious  authorities  and  did  not 
offend  public  opinion.  In  short,  the  merchants  were  forcibly 
deprived  of  their  vested  interests  without  compensation,  and 
called  "  thieves "  to  boot.  They  further  quote  the  strong 
denunciatory  language  of  the  Founder  of  Christianity  against 
the  "  respectable  "  classes  of  Jewish  Society,  accusing  them  of 
the  very  iniquities  charged  to-day  against  the  rich.  All  this  is 
not  without  considerable  force  as  an  argiimentum  ad  Chris- 
tianu/fi,  but  even  the  Christian  may,  I  think,  reply  that  the 
prophet  of  San  Francisco  is  not  the  Prophet  of  Nazareth,  and 
is  not  entitled  to  assume  the  divine  anger,  or  to  act  or  speak 
with  divine  authority. 

The  above  statements  are  partly  gleaned  from  the  Report 
of  the  Guild  of  St.  Matthew  which  has  recently  appeared.  By 
way  of  further  elucidating  the  position  of  the  Guild  towards 
Socialism  and  Christianity,  I  take  from  the  same  Report  the 
following  extracts  : — 

"The  two  fundamental  propositions  which  underlie  Socialist  teaching 
are  certainly  Christian  principles  :  first,  every  man  should  work.  There 
should  be  no  idle  class  ;  no  class  of  those  who  consume  but  do  not  produce  ; 
no  privileged  body  allowed  to  live  upon  the  produce  of  others'  labour 
without  rendering  a  due  equivalent.  What  is  this  but  Christian  teaching? 
St.  Paul's  labour  law,  if  strictly  applied  to  modern  society,  would  effect  a 
social  revolution.       '  If  any  will  not  work  neither  shall   he   eat.'  *      In 


*  2  T/iess.  iii.  10.  Herbert  Spencer,  in  the  "  Coming  Slavery,"  quotes 
this  text  as  "simply  a  Christian  enunciation  of  that  xmiversal  law  of 
Nature  .  .  .  that  a  creature  not  energetic  enough  to  maintain  itself  must 
die,"  though  with  apparent  inconsistency  in  the  next  sentence  he  slates 
that  the  Christian  law  was  to  be  "artificially  enforced."  Surely  the 
Apostle  meant  to  enunciate  a  moral  rule  of  conduct,  and  not  a  physical 
law:  that  no  one  should  "eat  any  man's  bread  for  nought,"  but  should 
work,  as   St.  Paul  himself  did,   night  and  day,  that  "he  mi^ht  not   be 

X 


306  SOCIALISM  IN-  ENGLAND. 

a  truly  Christian  society  the  food  supply  of  the  wilfully  idle  would  be  cut 
off;  in  modern  society  a  man  is  often  honoured  in  inverse  proportion  to 
the  amount  of  useful  work  he  does.  .  .  .  Secondly,  the  produce  of  labour 
fnu^t  be  distributed  on  a  much  more  equitable  system  than  at  present.  The 
landlord  and  the  capitalist,  say  the  Socialists,  secure  by  far  too  great  a  share 
of  the  value  created  by  labour." 

This  claim,  they  say,  sounds  strangely  like  St.  Paul's  dictum : 
"  The  husbandman  that  laboureth  must  be  ^q  first  to  partake 
of  the  fruits  " — a  text  which  was  often  quoted  by  the  Catholic 
priests  in  Ireland  in  the  days  of  the  Land  League — and  they 
endeavour  to  parallel  the  Socialist  indictment  against  capi- 
talism by  the  utterances  of  the  Hebrew  prophets  and  the 
Christian  Apostles.* 

The  Christian  Socialists  do  not,  as  a  rule,  base  their  Socialism 
on  Political  Economy.  A  little  pamphlet  called  the  "  Grammar 
of  Socialism "  represents  the  somewhat  hazy  views  of  the 
moderate  section.  Its  motto,  "Sirs,  ye  are  brethren;  why 
do  ye  wrong  one  to  another  ?  "  indicates  its  spirit.  The  general 
idea  is  that  great  riches  are  a  great  evil,  that  it  is  impossible, 
consistently  with  the  principle  of  brotherhood,  for  the  rich  man 
to  enjoy  his  goods  while  there  is  so  much  misery  and  want  in 
the  world,  and  the  practical  suggestion  is  that  "  the  transforming 
force  of  public  spirit "  should  be  so  brought  to  bear  upon  the 
rich  as  to  induce  them  to  distribute  all  beyond  their  "due 
shafe^^ahiong  tlie  poor.f    The  hearts  of  these  men  are  sounder 

chargeable  to  any  man."  The  words  should  be  translated,  "neither  let 
him  eat  "  (the  bread  of  charity).  The  allusion  is  "  to  alms  collected  in  the 
Church  for  the  poor  "  (Bp.  Wordsworth). 

*  They  quote  Jer.  ii.  34,  v.  26,  xxii.  13  ;  Eccl.  v.  13,  etc.  ;  i  Tim. 
vi.  9  ;  James  v.  i  -4,  etc. 

t  In  further  illustration  of  the  spirit  of  the  less  extreme  section,  I  may 
quote  the  following  passage  from  a  sermon  on  Christian  Socialism  by  the 
Rev.  J.  W.  Horsley,  M.A.,  Chaplain  of  H.  M.  Prison,  Clerkenwell, 
preached  before  the  Guild  of  St.  Allmn: — "Do  I  dream  only,  and  are 
dreams  never  fulfilled,  when  I  see  the  many  doing  what  now  only  the  few 
attempt,  becoming  poor  for  the  sake  of  the  poor,  and  thus  more  truly  becom- 
ing rich?  I  see  the  curse  transferred  from  poverty  to  luxury,  from  humility 
to  pride.  I  see  the  workhouse  crumbling  to  dust,  and  the  prisons  tottering 
to  decay  ;  ail  hospitals  free  ;  orphanages,  almshouses,  on  every  side  ;  guilds 
for  every  profession  and  calling,  but  none  for  any  class  ;  poverty  wearing 
no  badge  save  that  of  blessing,  and  riches  not  disti